Learning to Conquer "After Work Apathy"


Recently, I became a part of the typical American workforce. I got myself a 9-5 job at a company with a lot of room to grow in a role that allows me to be creative on a daily basis. I am incredibly lucky to be where I’m at, and I’m very excited at what my future has in store. There’s an incredible feeling of relief that comes with landing a first career job. I now had all the right answers, and I had finally accomplished everything that was asked of me! I was set completely, right? Not the case. As it turns out, all of your problems and feelings of uneasiness don’t magically vanish as soon as you get a career job. I felt still felt a large void in my life, and I quickly figured out what it was. As soon as I came home from work, I became a vegetable careening towards the couch, toggling between content binges of television reruns and social media news feeds. The length of the work day took a lot out of me, and I would do nothing until it was time to do it all again the next day. In an instant, I became complacent, and it made me feel really awful.

Getting a career job satisfies everyone around you who is concerned about your well-being. If you can provide for yourself, you’re a well-functioning member of society and everything else gets put on the back burner. I still live with my parents, and I find myself not having to explain my life plan to them anymore. As far as they’re concerned, I’m doing everything right, well on my way to a prosperity through the American dream. I love that my mom doesn’t ask me irksome questions about the direction of my life anymore, but at the same time, it’s nice when someone holds you accountable. Everyone needs a nice kick in the pants every now and again.

I realized that beyond work, I wasn’t growing as a person, and it really bummed me out. It’s an undeniably great feeling to kick back and not have a worry in the world, but I was taking it too far. The Twitterverse is usually entertaining, and I don’t regret a second of witnessing the goings on in Hawkins, Indiana in 1983, but doing those things regularly doesn’t facilitate personal growth.

Career goals are at the epitome of goal-setting. Making a decent living unlocks so many doors and simplifies a lot of things, but getting a job doesn’t answer everything in life. I quickly found this out, and I saw just how flawed my current lifestyle is. I realize now it’s time to take action before too much time passes by.

There are a lot of things I hope to accomplish after work. I want to come home to a clean space every day, I want to prepare and eat dinners that are healthy and don’t make me feel sluggish, and I want to turn off all screens for at least two hours a night and focus on doing something productive such as reading, learning a new language, or exercising.

I’m writing this article far from where I want to be in life at a personal level, but I’m writing it because the realization was an important one to make. Take a look at your life outside of work over the past 6 months to a year. Ask yourself what you’ve learned, what you’ve accomplished, and how your life has improved. After that, figure out what you want to achieve outside of work, and make those things happen.