How to stop yourself becoming a 9 to 5 zombie (and falling into a career rut)

You're surrounded. The physical embodiments of a desolate Monday morning stare with a longing stillness that would even have unsettled the Raven sat upon Poe's chamber door. You reach around for ammunition to stave off the ungainly advances of the suited undead. "Garlic.No.Matches.No.Silver Bullets.No!" An interesting choice of backpack essentials but all for the wrong apocalypse.

Zombies are stubborn at the best of times, but these aren't just any zombies, these are 9 to 5 zombies. They have already succumbed to the dredgery of office life and seem determined to extinguish any career spark that may exist amongst their pre-composed colleagues.  

Though the odds might be stacked against you, you need to keep that spark alive to prevent yourself from becoming another member of the working dead.

Keep Learning

Nothing separates you from the workaday zombies like learning new skills. Now, while you might think a bigger brain would make you susceptible to being chased down the corridors, your new found expertise should keep you on your toes and make you more prone to rescue from managers. Failure to add weapons to your arsenal will inevitably see you left behind with the tedium infected clock watchers, whose only respite comes from the dawning of dusk. So show enthusiasm and throw yourself into unfamiliar situations, because knowledge is power and being proactive could even see you promoted out of the zombie hoard.


While you might think that you're fending them off well enough on your own, the old adage that there's safety in numbers certainly comes in to play when working in a corporate graveyard. A lifeless atmosphere will ultimately get the better of you and so surrounding yourself with those who have an infectious passion may act as the best antidote to an invasion. Building a network across your industry will also open doors for you and perhaps provide the best prospects for escaping to a safe place in the future.

Have A Goal

You might not be able to escape the 9 to 5 zombies right away, but building up to an eventual goal is likely to be the best course to success. You need to take a step back and ask yourself what you really want out of your current position and what steps you can take to achieve this. Whether you think money, a promotion or a new job is the solution, having an end goal will give you the motivation to ignore the creeping bleakness and wave goodbye to the co-workers pulling you down.

Look After Yourself

When you're fighting the same battles day and day out, it's important that you look after yourself. The diet of a zombie (brains, flesh, pot noodles, etc) might appease their cravings but doesn't give them the nutrients to productively tackle the working week. Now while brain foods might sound like a brand of zombie ready meals, they are in fact ideal for boosting the strength, concentration and mood of the still living. Studies have also shown that exercise can improve your mood, but that shouldn't be a problem with all that Scooby-Doo running you do from the living impaired.

Get Out

Life's too short, (unless you're a zombie that is), and spending it tiptoeing around banality and boredom is hardly the best use of your time. Monotony to productivity is what Adam Sandler is to movies and while you may be willing to tolerate it for the foreseeable future, sometimes moving on is only the way to truly reignite your career. Before you take that leap though, read our guide to whether it really is time to leave your job.

Unfortunately, 9 to 5 zombies are everywhere but once the flag has been raised to signal their control, it's definitely time to shake things up. Standing still for too long is the biggest mistake in any zombie thriller, so whether it's personal improvement or a change in direction, constantly moving forward promises the best chance of monotony-lyptic survival.