Are you craving the consistency of a regular, year-round pay check? Have you had enough of waitressing and ski instructing and bartending and babysitting just to make ends meet? Or is that guilt of not using that expensive degree to its fullest potential staring to creep in? Whatever your motivation to break the cycle of seasonal outdoor work, the transition to a more traditional office job and away from the freedom of having an off-season can be a difficult one. Trust me, I’ve been there.

First, FOMO is a real thing. The blessing of social media is that we get to follow the awesome adventures of all of our current and past aquaintances. The curse of social media is that we get to follow the awesome adventures of our current and past aquaintances. You’re going to spend many mornings scrolling through Instagram, looking at snapshots of powder runs and bluebird sky ski days. It can feel like a gnawing in your gut, that feeling of missing those perfect ski days.

Second, you’re going to watch your muscles become less defined. What was once a rippled bicep from spending all day laboring outdoors might start to look more like a solid branch after spending most of the day on a computer.

Finally, you’re probably going to have to get used to a commute that’s not on a chair lift, gondola, or mountain bike. Stoplights are a thing, and so is the gas money that disappears from your account every month.

It can be hard not to look nostalgically back on that season that you packed nine friends into a two bedroom, one bath apartment and worked your butt off to make rent. And it’s true; office life is different than outdoor life, but it’s not all bad. If it’s the right job and if you feel like you made the choice for reasons that make sense to you, traditional jobs are worth it. I’ve put together some tips to help make the transition a little smoother.

  1. Take advantage of your days off: seasonal jobs often have obscure schedules, while desk jobs have set days off, so make the most of your guaranteed free time. Plan ahead, book campsites in advance, and block off your calendar for some no strings attached adventuring. On the plus side, you’ll probably have some disposable income to help make the trip even more awesome.
  2. Get after it – after work: join a climbing gym, night ride your mountain bike, try an aerial yoga class, or go for a hike on a new trail. Do anything active that keeps you away from the TV and mind-numbing social media.
  3. Don’t waste your time on social media: concerning yourself with everyone else’s lives is what conceived FOMO. Instead of scrolling through a Facebook album of someone else’s adventures, research beta on the climbing route you have been meaning to tackle or the bike trail you haven’t yet found the time to ride.
  4. Start cultivating your love for podcasts, make a list of the people you need to call and catch up with, and enjoy the moments of solitude you’ll find in the car or on your favorite mode of public transportation.
  5. Find a group of people that enjoy adventuring in the same way that you do. You’ll motivate each other to try new things, and hopefully they’ll be able to show you fun things to do in your new city.

It might take some time to make the transition, but it’ll get easier. All of those lessons about hard work and customer service that you learned in the mountain town will serve you well in the business world. Plus, you’ll always have friends to crash with in your favorite mountain town.

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