3

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Anyone quit a desk job and move into a more primal-friendly work?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I'm in college studying math. The thing is, that will likely leave me with few paleo-friendly job options, which I'm not happy about. Of course, it will possibly earn me a job in which I can afford to take primal-friendly vacations- like going skiing- and afford a good gym membership. However, still, the majority of my time might likely be spent hunched over at a desk which I'm not happy about. Although it may not be spent doing that either.

Excuse the long introduction, but what I'm wondering is, if anyone either has a very paleo/primal friendly job or has left a sedentary job to a less financially lucrative, but more satisfying one that is more in-line with your paleo-primal nature?

I hope that makes sense. LIke did you go from being a an accountant to a landscaper? that would just be an example.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:50 AM

Snowman: I was very fortunate to have a running partner who worked for the organization in question: it was listening to him describe his work that inspired me to change careers, not to mention he put a good word in for me at the place!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:45 AM

RK: I think so. It is very neolithic to just banish the sick and disabled. Many ancient groups treated them specially or even superstitiously. Not that I'm advocating that but I like to think the entire group typically cared for all members in paleolithic times

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:45 AM

I think so. It is very neolithic to just banish the sick and disabled. Many ancient groups treated them specially or even superstitiously. Not that I'm advocating that but I like to think the entire group typically cared for all members in paleolithic times.

Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

(529)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:43 AM

It sounds like a very Paleo job. Like it's the lifestyle we all read about in the the Paleo books, but shrug off as impossible between 9-5. Congrats!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:57 PM

what a cool story, thx for sharing. I like that you emphasize the community aspect ... that's part of the paleo life that doesn't seem to come up much on PH!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:17 PM

What about field work in biology/zoology? You need a strong basis in maths to study for that. If I could do it all over again...

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on May 24, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Albert, funny you should post this. I'm discussing careers with my teens who are interested and good at math, science, and computers. They like compusci but I'm advising them to go into medicine so they won't be desk bound for most of their adult lives like my husband and me.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on May 24, 2013
at 02:15 PM

Hey thanks for sharing. Very helpful

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7 Answers

2
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 24, 2013
at 06:37 PM

I was in college and decided to take time off/not complete the degree.

To me, the college experience - sitting in a classroom for hours, staying up late to memorize notes, eating crap food because I've got no other choice, drinking with others to "celebrate" our "freedom" from being done with exams - is not paleo/primal at all.

In fact, it made me miserable and depressed. I was wasting all this money to not really learn or grow, but to build up a "resistance" to bulls##t so that I can be a better corporate slave. My injuries from high school got worse, I put on weight, was getting into bad crap.. etc.. so I decided to drop it all.

It's a huge shock, because my entire childhood revolved around doing well in school and attaining "the American Dream" of a good job, good income, and big house. Now that I look at it, it's pretty much gold-plated handcuffs and diamond-encrusted ball-and-chains.

I got into the uncollege/unschooling movement and also experienced a vast change in political beliefs (socialism/liberalism to libertarianism). This, along with my already-existing beliefs in the paleo-lifestyle, really motivated my decision to leave school. Now, I'm working to become a strength coach. I've been reading non-stop, started my own blog, have been fervently rehabbing my body (even though it's taking me a while...), and will soon be looking around for a mentor or coach I can volunteer for and learn from.

My intentions in high school were to become either an engineer or a medical doctor. If things really don't work out for me at all, I might go back to school and study engineering/chemistry/physics - but that's really if the SHTF and there's absolutely no hope of this working out.

I already have my eyes set on the prize, though. I won't make much, but I'll be on me feet all day, moving and working. And everything will go towards my health. What can go wrong? ;-)

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on May 24, 2013
at 02:10 PM

I'm a software engineer and I spend a lot of my day time sitting in front of the computer, and you are right, since I'm into the paleo stuff I sometimes guess I'd prefer to be involved in a more dynamic job... but well, that's why I try to exercise a lot and have breaks to go for a walk, etc.

But there's even a more profound reason why I might not choose my profession again: it's not for my sake but for others. If I were 18 again I may start medicine instead of computering. It's not that I don't like my job, in fact I love it! but I guess I could even love more helping others being optimal again and not dealing all day with machines, I guess I'd choose endocrinology/dietitian, don't know.

The fact that on my free time I'm so immerse in nutrition/health/exercise instead of sharpening my software developer skills I guess that it speaks for itself. But well, one is a thing I must do for a living and the other is a passion so I guess it's not a fair comparison, hehe.

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on May 24, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Albert, funny you should post this. I'm discussing careers with my teens who are interested and good at math, science, and computers. They like compusci but I'm advising them to go into medicine so they won't be desk bound for most of their adult lives like my husband and me.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on May 24, 2013
at 02:15 PM

Hey thanks for sharing. Very helpful

1
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:20 PM

Yes. I worked as a graphic designer for years, perpetually at desk and driving my car to work in traffic. Combined with a bad posture from my teen years, and a bad habit of playing soccer once a week at 110% despite doing zero other training for it in between, I herniated L5S1 and developed sciatica that ended up needing discectomy surgery.

As a result, after rehabbing, I first began working at a standing work station, but then realized I needed a more fundamental change.

I now work in a community mental-health organization, accompanying residents of a group home in recreation, motivation, autonomy and self-discovery. This means that in a typical workday I will garden, play basketball, go for a bike ride, play chess, play ping pong, workout at the gym, cook a meal for 12, visit a museum, etc. It's in the community, so I either run or bike to it rather than drive. I never sit anymore, and as a bonus, impact people's lives. As a community organization the ethic is quite different from the corporate milieu in the sense that there is much more flexibility and vacation and so I spend much more time with my family, at the gym, and away enjoying the out-of-doors.

I'm very satisfied with the outcome, even though at the time it was very hard and scary to quit a steady career for the unknown with a third child on the way. I highly recommend getting out of the cubicle and into the community for anyone who can stomach the risk. By the way this will vary regionaly but in my case it was basically a financial wash, just with less insurance benefits.

On another aspect, I don't see my previous career as wasted time as there are always positives you take away from any studies and work experience, even after you've moved on.

Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

(529)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:43 AM

It sounds like a very Paleo job. Like it's the lifestyle we all read about in the the Paleo books, but shrug off as impossible between 9-5. Congrats!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:45 AM

I think so. It is very neolithic to just banish the sick and disabled. Many ancient groups treated them specially or even superstitiously. Not that I'm advocating that but I like to think the entire group typically cared for all members in paleolithic times.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:50 AM

Snowman: I was very fortunate to have a running partner who worked for the organization in question: it was listening to him describe his work that inspired me to change careers, not to mention he put a good word in for me at the place!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:57 PM

what a cool story, thx for sharing. I like that you emphasize the community aspect ... that's part of the paleo life that doesn't seem to come up much on PH!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on May 25, 2013
at 12:45 AM

RK: I think so. It is very neolithic to just banish the sick and disabled. Many ancient groups treated them specially or even superstitiously. Not that I'm advocating that but I like to think the entire group typically cared for all members in paleolithic times

1
29518a2572c5fe3a851170a9b1c315f3

on May 24, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Iam studying law and have one year left. It doesnt make me happy to think about my future at an office.. I whish I had been paleo 5 years ago because then I had chosen an other direction. I have recently quit my part -time job because I couldnt stand to sit on a chair for 8 hours in front of a computer. So this summer Im not going to work for the first time in 10 years, Im going hiking, traveling, rock- climbing and visiting family.

1
Ab85d55b1897b03dc4020a9958ec6452

on May 24, 2013
at 06:12 PM

I know exactly how you feel man, I went to college to work in the IT Field and have a great job making good money, but am unhappy because I personally would like to be outdoors much more. So I Make sure to walk a good amount and work out as often as possible. I will be doing some yard work or gardening or something lol in the future to fulfill my paleo interests! Good luck man!

1
Medium avatar

(389)

on May 24, 2013
at 04:24 PM

I have not... but perhaps at some point in the future. For the time being, I have upgraded the Primal "level" of my desk job :) For example, standup desk, finding reasons to visit our vendors and be out in the sun throughout the week, f.lux on my computer, frequent breaks, etc.

0
E40ba236b91803477e7a3ebd11143429

on September 03, 2013
at 07:49 PM

I am an engineer and am unhappy sitign behind the desk. I have carpal tunnel and am only 31 years old. This is very inspiring. Thank you.

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