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Girl Who Just Graduated From College Shares Concerns About Working Her First 9-5 Job — ‘How Do You Have Time For Your Life?’

Photo: Lena Ivanova / Shutterstock
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As 20-something Gen Zers enter the workforce upon college graduation, some have a lot to say about the difficult transition they’re going through.

On TikTok, Brielle Asero, a recent college graduate, shared her concerns about limited free time as she begins her first 9-to-5 job.

Adjusting to her first full-time job, Asero worries about finding time for a personal life.

Her TikToks have sparked debate regarding the struggle post-grads face when applying for jobs, as well as working exhausting hours with little time for their lives. She's discovered that after she gets off work, she doesn’t have time or energy to cook, work out or spend time with friends. 



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One person commented, saying "The worst part is when you don’t have energy to do anything after work, so your life is a cycle of wake up, commute, work, commute, sleep and repeat."

What's even crazier is how the 9-to-5, 40-hour work week was originally designed to give laborers a shorter work week, compared to the 10-hour shifts and 100-hour work weeks they were subjected to before. Imagine that!



Asero expressed deep gratitude for being fortunate enough to have a job after five months of searching, saying “I am so extremely thankful that my job decided to reach back out to me because a lot of them don't because they don't want to train college graduates.”

According to research, the average time it takes college graduates to find employment after graduation is three to six months. For some, it may take even longer. 

“I’m one of the lucky post-grads who got a job in my field, which is marketing, after college,” Asero stated. “I know so many post-grads who have been searching upwards of a year, and they still can’t find a job in their field, and they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt.”

"Not to mention most recent college grads are highly underpaid cause 80% of the 'entry-level jobs' require 2-3 years of experience," someone replied in the comments.

But being grateful for a job does not negate the fact that transitioning from student to full-time employee is a struggle.

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Asero said there are two main reasons why post-grads struggle to adjust to the traditional office workday:

1. College doesn't prepare students for a 9-to-5 schedule.

Asero specifically touched on how experiencing a pandemic and remote work has shaped Gen Z, inhibiting them from being able to conceptualize what has been the traditional workday for decades. During the pandemic, high school and college students adjusted to the comfort and stability of working from home. Three years later, many of them are still not able to readjust to commuting to school or an office. Asero, like many others, finds the schedule unnatural, saying, "Obviously I'm not used to working the 9-to-5 schedule because I'm not used to being anywhere from 9 to 5."

2. The 9-to-5 schedule is not a normal schedule for people to be on.

It isn't enough that employees need to spend eight hours of their day in an office, but many have to spend additional hours commuting to and from work. Asero said it takes her two hours to commute each way, totaling four hours, and it leaves her exhausted. Many people also have kids or pets, which makes this work schedule even more difficult to manage. 

"Imagine me leaving a dog or a kid at home from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night," Asero said. "That’s animal and child abuse, but I have to work, so there's nothing I can do about it," she said expressing her respect for working parents because "it's incredibly hard in America to be emotionally and mentally stable" when their days are structured around their jobs above anything else. 

It's difficult enough to make the time for basic needs and responsibilities, like cooking, cleaning and looking after family, let alone pursuing hobbies, dating or spending time with friends, but squeezing these life activities in between a demanding work schedule is next to impossible.

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Gen Zers continue to speak out about reforming the traditional work schedule for a better quality of life.

Asero claimed it is not fair that the only people benefitting from the 9-to-5 schedule are "the people who run the corporations and can make their own schedules, so they just pile on the work to people who are less fortunate or people who are just extremely rich." 

It's no surprise that Americans' quality of life has declined significantly over the past decade. Let's face it, people are tired of living to work, rather than working to live. No one feels they have time to do anything, and with the state of the economy and inflation, people are more in need of money than ever. It's no wonder middle-class households have decreased from 60% to 51% and low-income households have increased from 25% to 29% of the population.

In fact, many have been calling the current state of America's economy "the silent depression."



Times are definitely changing, and Gen Z has a much fresher perspective and opinion of what defines a healthy, stable life. All we can do is hope Gen Z's voices are heard and they can enact change for a better tomorrow. 

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers pop culture, lifestyle and spirituality topics.