Alright, so I think I can speak for many people when I say that maintaining happiness in a job, especially if it’s entry level, is difficult to do. I speak as a recent graduate who has now been at her first “adult” job for about 8 months now. For the most part, I’ve been really lucky. I work at a small company, editing ads. Because I eventually want to edit books or magazines, or maybe help manage a website like this one, it looks really great on my resume and I am one of the few lucky grads to have had no trouble finding a job, especially one that’s related to the field I want to be in.
That being said, it’s still hard to maintain a good attitude at work at times. Office politics, tedious data entry, and periods of feeling like there’s nothing to do. During these times I like to procrastinate overmuch and during one of these particularly long periods, I jotted down some ideas of how I could take advantage of my job, and figure out what this job could teach me, even in my periods of boredom, about future jobs down the line. These are the best ways I could come up with to help fight the annoyances of grinding your nose.
1. Don’t Complain
This is probably the hardest one, but also the most important. The thing about complaining, is that it makes you less grateful for your job. Which, I don’t care what you’re doing. You’re getting paid to do it. But, I digress – complaining makes you less grateful, and if you’re less grateful, you’re much more likely to learn less.
Try to see everything as an opportunity. There’s going to be days where everyone and everything is going against you, and you’re going to want to whine about it. But instead of complaining and moaning about how much your job sucks, remind yourself of the good parts, and remind yourself of what you’re learning. If you want to be an Editor, like me, any repetitive, or tedious, data entry that I really don’t want to do, forces down my throat the idea of double checking everything twice or even three times, so that whenever I’m in production, putting together a book, I can be more confident that that book will be one more step closer to perfection than the last book was.
2. Make Your Bed
And generally just keep your apartment clean. One of the most amazing feelings at the end of a long day is coming home to my dog, my cat, and my boyfriend. All of the crap that I’m worried about at work just kind of stops nagging at me, and I’m able to enjoy my time at home. However, I make sure that time isn’t spent endlessly cleaning, or looking at messy, dirty surroundings. I put bowls up after they’re used, clean my bathroom regularly, and always try to make my bed every morning. If nothing else, it is super satisfying to unmake that bed into a cuddly nest of blankets and pillows to sleep off whatever crappy day you may have had.
3. Take Care of Yourself
I’m not hear to preach about fitness and makeup. If you like to work out, do that. If you like to cook, or read, or mountain climb or whatever, make time in your schedule to do it. If you’re happy in your outside life, you’ll be more happy at work. Don’t ditch out on your monthly pint of ice cream and sappy movie if that’s what you want to do on Friday instead of going to a concert. Likewise, stop feeling guilty about going dancing on the weekends just because your friends have become sweatpants people.
4. Leave The Office During Lunch
If you have the opportunity to take an hour for lunch and are spending every day under the fluorescent lights of your office breakroom, STOP IT. Go for a walk down the street. Sit on the steps and read a book. Go home, go out to lunch, go to a bar*! Just get out of the office, at least a couple times a week. Especially when I’m having a hard day, it’s so nice to be able to come home for a little bit to lay down, freshen up, and take my dog for a little walk. Yeah, you’ll dread going back a little bit, but it’ll give you a nice break in the middle of any chaos, and you’ll look forward to coming home more.
5. Remember, it’s Temporary
Any job is as temporary or permanent as you want it to be. Easy as that.
You’re never going to be in love with your job 100% of the time. There will be times when you’re slammed, times when you’re bored, and times when you just want to be anywhere else but there. But there will be also be times when you realize how lucky you are, and how much you’re learning, and how fun the fun parts are. The trick is to embrace the good and learn from the bad. Once you get that down, you’re golden.