Here's my experience, for what it's worth. Beware, it's not very uplifting.
It certainly sounds like you're not cut out for the corporate ratrace which is something I can sympathize with. A few conclusions I have drawn for myself :
1. People are people wherever you go
90% of them are arseholes for a variety of reasons (insecurity, pressure from the home front, coming from a long line of distinguished arseholes...). The other 10% range from OK to those very rare specimens you feel you actually value and can learn something from. Moving around trying to get away from nasty, boring or uninspiring people is pointless. So is conducting a constant lone battle with the 90%. Save your real attention for the 10% and conduct yourself in such a way as to get by with a minimum of strife with the rest. It took me a long time before I realized that a little dishonesty does not constitute a betrayal of my principles when dealing with people who have no scruples themselves. You can't beat them so, to an extent, you must join them.
2. You can't accomodate a souldestroying job into your life
A job with normal working hours takes up such a huge chunk of your life that you can't recover mentally in the time left over if it takes too much out of you. If you really feel like you're going home drained of your will to live every day, get out of there. It's an old cliché, but try to work to live instead of living to work.
3. Fun jobs for all is a myth
Just like not everybody will find their ideal partner in life, not everybody will find their ideal job. It assumes knowing what you want, for starters. I'm always amazed at how people think it's so obvious and trivial to know what you 'want'. I find it hard to believe that all the accountants in the world 'wanted' to be an accountant when they were 18... Making your own way (as Mononoke suggests) does actually require a number of talents which, again, not everybody is endowed with. In fact most people probably aren't. Don't feel bad if you can't see your way to doing this. If you can, it's probably the best advice you can get.
However if you do have to take a job from somebody else remember that, contrary to popular belief, jobs aren't actually meant to be fun. I always remind myself that if my job were so much fun, they'd probably find someone to do it for free.
4. Have something to work on outside of your job
I find it's good to have an actual project to work on outside of work. By that I mean something other than just passing the time until you have to go to work again. An actual realization of some kind. Play in a band, join a sports team. Doing something where you're also part of a whole but actually on your own terms and of your own free will goes some way towards balancing out the fact that you have to spend much of your life being somewhere you don't particularly want to be, doing something you don't particularly want to be doing. With luck, it will also give you a different perspective on collaboration with other people.
Last edited by Sgt Kelly
on Apr 10, 2012 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.