Is the commute right for you?

This is it. This is your moment. You’re about to embark on that big scary adventure that the adults call ‘work’. But first, you have to get there.

Even if you don’t work you’re probably familiar with the wonderful term that your parents or peers call ‘the commute’ – which is more favourably known as ‘rush hour’. For those of you who require a definition: ‘to travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis.’ Or my personal favourite: ‘a regular period of heavy traffic, especially at the beginning or end of a workday.’ I would like to point out that my ‘workday’ does not end until I walk through my front door.

Sweaty armpits

The commute itself can pretty much be deemed as work. You have to navigate trains, tubes, and if you’re super lucky the walk at either end of the station. When you’re starting at a new job, trying to work out how many stops to your destination there are, or deciphering road names that are all too often faded on the side of buildings, is enough to work you up into a sweat before you even arrive at the office (or wherever you work- we’re not ones to discriminate on work grounds here).

Now I don’t mean to put you off deciding to go for a job in the city. I mean, who doesn’t love sitting next to the gum yapper, or the person with the broadsheet newspaper? Or, having to shelter under the nearest sweaty armpit because there’s not enough room on the central line? (That might just be me. All four foot eleven inches of me.)

Creative Commons underground tube station

London glamour

I recently started my first shiny/exciting/high flying graduate job in London. Southwark to be precise. No, it really isn’t a glamorous place.  I’m one of the lucky ones. I start work at ten and finish at six, meaning I hit the tail end of rush hour and can occasionally miss getting a rucksack shoved in my face on the escalator into the tube station. However, the Jubilee line is a sly fellow. My morning commute is a rather relaxed affair. I arrive in plenty of time, I saunter onto the train – which I’m perfectly entitled to do as an editorial assistant I’ll have you know – and I park myself in one of many free seats.

Come the evening though, the Jubilee line decides he’s had quite enough of carting people around all day and shoves us all into one carriage like sardines. Wait, I’m a journalist. I can come up with a better simile than that. We’re packed into the carriage like… polystyrene. Yes, we even squeak slightly when we are accidentally brushed against.

Worth it?

This article was intended to help you decide whether commuting is right for you, however I seem to have painted it in a predominantly bad light. A really bad, energy saving bulb type light. Truthfully, only do the commute if the job is right for you. There’s no point in needlessly travelling each day if your heart isn’t in it. I’m lucky enough to have secured a job I’m passionate about and I can honestly say that if you love what you do, a few flustered businesses men and women are worth the journey.