I’m Stressed Because of My Low Workload, Want to Switch to Work that Matches My Hobbies

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male office worker in my early 30s and work as a consultant. Since the start of the pandemic, my workload has been low and I have too much time on my hands. This situation is causing me stress.

I go to the office once a week but, except during meetings, I don’t talk to anyone. I just sit quietly at my computer and go home. I have lunch alone.

When I work from home, I check emails in the morning, open my computer and just listen to the radio. I often do that until after 5 p.m.

If my salary were lower, I would get a new job. But since the pay is not bad, I’m just accepting the situation. My clients are large companies, but I don’t feel like I’m contributing to society.

I think it’s not good for me to continue like this and am thinking of changing my career to something related to outdoor activities or sightseeing, which are my hobbies. But since I don’t have qualifications or skills to be an immediately effective worker, my salary will probably decrease.

I’m afraid that I’ll end up settling for the lukewarm life I’m leading now. I don’t have anyone to talk to, but should I ask someone for advice?

S, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Mr. S:

The pandemic has dramatically changed how people live their lives, and I believe this applies to you.

You are interested in outdoor activities and sightseeing, but you tend to be stuck at home, which doesn’t seem to be a good thing. If you don’t enjoy something or find it rewarding, you will become less and less motivated and increasingly feel down.

As you wrote, changing your career to something related to outdoor activities or sightseeing would be a good idea. However, it’s uncertain whether you will feel better because you would be doing what you like as a job. Unlike a hobby, a job often involves many burdens such as interpersonal relationships at work or with clients.

Every job has its own meaning, so one way of looking at the situation is that your current job is just a job, and then make time for your hobbies. What is not good is to worry about things alone because your thoughts tend to be one-sided.

Seeking advice from others is not something to be ashamed of. Rather, think of it as an important step to put together and develop your thoughts.

Yutaka Ono, psychiatrist