Risky Business: Tips to Transition from Manual Labor to a Desk Job

People change jobs for a variety of reasons, but occasionally, they’ll do a complete shake-up. Making the move from manual labor to a desk job can be a great career change, but it also comes with some lifestyle changes you might not have counted on. Here are a few tips to make the transition a little easier.

Get a New Exercise Routine

When you work manual labor, your daily work is often enough to keep you in pretty good shape. But when you start working at a desk, you might find yourself sitting most of the day, only getting up occasionally. It’s important to find a new way to stay active and keep the weight off before it starts. Join a gym and use it as a pick-me-up during lunch breaks or pack a bag and head there right after work. Whatever you decide to do, stay consistent in your exercise and physical health. If you worked in commercial trucking or a more sedentary manual job, you probably have already learned some of the tricks to staying healthy. Be sure to maintain and keep up with new habits.


Change Your Eating Habits

Along with a new exercise routine, you may want to consider a change in the way you eat. After working on your feet, you may have gotten used to eating hearty breakfasts and large lunches to fuel those busy, movement-filled days. But when you’re sitting behind a desk, that much food is just going to pile on the pounds. Consider lighter meals, such as eggs and toast for breakfast, or a salad for lunch. If you find that you’re still hungry, adjust as necessary.


Learn Time Management Skills

Many manual labor jobs have loosely defined schedules. As long as you complete a project or a set of work, the day is over, but office jobs often have much more rigid schedules. Aside from the hours you’re set to work, you may have deadlines for reports due, appointments to meet with clients or vendors, or meetings with your boss or co-workers. Learning good time management skills in the form of using a paper planner or a calendar app on your phone will help you stay on track. Not to mention, being able to stay on top of tasks and appointments will help you look more professional all-around.



In manual labor, it’s pretty obvious when one worker is slacking off and not doing their job. They stick out like a sore thumb while everyone else is bustling, and if they work alone, the lack of progress on their work is hard to dismiss. In an office environment, it can sometimes be harder to tell when someone is slacking. Make sure you can motivate yourself to do what needs to be done, so you don’t find yourself making excuses when work is due.


The transition from manual labor to desk work can be smooth and easy if you prepare and take a few simple steps to make sure you’re ready. This can be a huge career boost, so take every opportunity to improve your work and make the transition smooth.

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