The Blog


Article written by a Work Club member, February 2012.

After spending over 16 years in my first job as an Administrative Assistant at a firm of solicitors where I was working typical ‘9 to 5’ office hours, it came as a bit of a surprise to be told, at the Job Centre, that I would have to be prepared to start as early as 7.00 a.m. and finish as late as 7.00 p.m. should I continue to look for office admin. work.  I had become so accustomed to working these hours and, because it was my first job, I had never known anything else and always thought of them as the norm but it had become something of a ’trap’.

The feeling I had when I left the Job Centre, that day, was not a good one, but I had to accept that things have changed since 1995 and, due to various circumstances, I may never be fortunate to work these hours again and will perhaps have to forfeit some of the time I enjoyed having to myself both when I came home in the evenings and at least part of the weekend.

Some of the jobs I have applied for since being made redundant would have meant me having to work at least half a day on a Saturday in an office job which I didn’t get interviewed for, and all day on Sundays in two of the retail jobs I have applied for (and still await a reply) – this perhaps shows that I have accepted my fate now and I am prepared to work almost any shift pattern but, as I live with two other people, I doubt that night shifts and sleeping in the day would be possible, but the thought of starting work as early as 6.00 a.m. or finishing as late as 10.00 p.m. really doesn’t bother me anymore as long as I am happy in my work and the importance of this, to employees and employers alike, should not be under-estimated because the majority of most peoples’ days will be spent at work and I believe a happy workforce is a more productive workforce.

 Nothing is certain yet – there is a chance I may find another ’9 to 5’ job, but new employment could prove easier to find because I am not especially looking for these hours anymore – this ‘luxury’ may be lost for all of us but, in this economic climate and at a time of worldwide unease, we must all keep things in perspective and realise that it isn’t all that bad.

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