It has been LITERALLY forever since I’ve posted on my blog. Between juggling the anxiety of jumping between jobs and the major feat of trying to actually become an adult, I have simply been overwhelmed. Which makes me sad.
Luckily, I’ve managed to keep in touch with some of my blogger friends on here, and recently one asked me what I did for a living.
I have always found this question interesting, and I usually answer with something like ‘WELL when I’m actually living it doesn’t involve me sitting behind a desk wasting away while the sunlight slowly drains.”
Living to me has always been defined as actually being present and in the moment, instead of looking in the past or the future. Living is being so full of life that you can’t fathom dwelling in the past or waiting for time to pass. So when people used to ask me what I did for work, you bet your ass sitting in a cube, staring at my Channing Tatum calendar waiting for the hours to pass, is how I described my career. Constantly complaining, waiting for the future and for the work day to end.
A friend said something to me a couple months ago that really resonated with me. They said they were sick and tired of ‘waiting for the weekend.’ Tired of waking up each morning, counting down the hours until the day ends, and ultimately counting down the days until the weekend where freedom ensues. I stopped and thought: what a sad way to live, but there I was working for the weekend just like my friend and Loverboy. I woke up every day waiting for it to end, wasting five days a week being miserable and unhappy. Once I made this realization everything changed for me.
People always say ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. Sure, it would be nice to be a professional blogger sitting on the beach with a hot pool boy feeding me grapes while I work. Sure, it would be superb to travel the world eating amazing food and getting paid to post a picture of it before I destroy it with my mouth. But hey – we can’t win them all. Once I recognized I was wasting valuable time by waiting for the weekends, I became determined to find a job I loved liked, that combined my passion for helping people with my marketing/analytic skill-set.
I began to realize you must sacrifice some things for others in order to feel content in your career. At one point I worked for one of the most sought after tech companies in downtown San Diego. We had parties all the time, booze in the office, and a flexible PTO schedule. But I was making no money, working under a sexist pig, and had absolutely no room to grow. Although I was enjoying myself at this company on a personal level, my professional career was suffering and my bank account hit an all time low. My next position was at an international Wi-Fi company. I got to travel all over the world and worked with one of my best friends. It was a sweet set up, but the company was poorly ran and once again – I had no opportunity to show my real talent and grow into a greater role. Although I love traveling (and getting paid to do it is the TITS) I decided I needed to start thinking long term and needed to sacrifice my love for seeing the world to find a company that I could actually grow with.
You see, I sacrificed a pay cut to come to my current position. I currently sacrifice a lot of free time on the weekends to dedicate to my job, and I sometimes sacrifice sleep because I am nervous I messed something up. But I’ve NEVER been happier. I’m finally working in an industry where I can simultaneously help people while also implementing my badass ninja marketing skills. I finally found a company that working overtime doesn’t seem like a burden, because I am thankful to be here instead of in my previous roles. I no longer wait for the weekends. I no longer am miserable M-F. I no longer am under-appreciated. But this pivotal moment did not come easy for me. I had to work for it and figure out the right ingredients to a successful work/life balance.
The reality is, this generation is lazy. We all want to do nothing and make bank. We all want to be half naked on a beach in Bali getting paid to rep Chubbies Swimwear instead of being stuck in an office. But what I have come to realize in the last six months is that YES work can be mundane. Joyless. Exhausting. Sometimes it can even feel hopeless. But there are certain things you can do to feel passionate about your job, and help you operate within a healthy work/life balance where you aren’t waiting for the time to pass. Because frankly – that is a sad way to live.
- Write down what you love about your job
Now hear me out. If you are someone that really doesn’t enjoy your job at all, you’re probably rolling your eyes. But think about it long and hard. Perhaps you get to travel for work, or they pay your phone bill, or you get free snacks at your office (HOLLA free shit!), or maybe you think the delivery man is sexy…literally write down even the smallest things that make you smile. I promise this will help shed some light on the things you enjoy at your job even if your actual ‘role’ isn’t that fantastic.
- Ask Questions – Stay Curious
When I first started my new job, I was definitely a little hesitant. I had gone through two other jobs in a short six months, and felt nervous that this was going to be a reoccurring pattern. I felt like a quitter. But I was determined to find a long-term career and end my ‘job hopping bullshit’. Right when I started my new job, I came in curious as ever, asking all the questions I ever had about the future of my role and how I can constantly contribute more to grow the business and my resume. When you stay curious, you stay passionate and interested. This results in you ACTUALLY giving a damn about your job. If you go in everyday, head down, miserable and unhappy, you will never feel invested in your job. And if you are never invested, you certainly are waiting for the clock to tick. Day in, and day out…
- Do more of what you love, outside of work
The way I stay satisfied in my work/play life is by dedicating a lot of my free time to the activities, things, and people that I love. I tend to be a ‘yes’ person, and try and stay as busy as I can. I often get asked ‘HOW’ I am constantly on the go. And it’s because I spend 40-55 hours per week working, so spending my free time in ways that delight me make me happy whether I’m overworked or not. This translates into me enjoying my work, as sometimes I need a break from going 24/7. Sometimes I also enjoy reflecting on the fact that I have a job and a seemingly repetitive schedule, as it keeps me motivated to stay productive, eat healthy, and workout. Lord knows if I didn’t have any adult responsibilities I’d probably be a fat slob on the beaches of Mexico begging for strips of Al Pastor and tequila.
- Socialize at work
This may be a given, but spending time engaging with the people you work with allows you to connect and relate to them on a deeper level then just seeing them in the break room. When you hate your job, you likely have a tendency to cut everyone off and become withdrawn from interaction. Every single job I have had (which is quite a few) I put in a valiant effort to connect with the people I work with. I mean you’re legit spending over 50% of your time with them, so feeling comfortable 50% of your life should be important to you. Invite them for a cocktail after work, go to lunch with them, ask them REAL and MEANINGFUL questions. This will surely have you looking forward to seeing the people you work with.
- Take OWNERSHIP of your work, and your life
One great thing about my current position is that everyone takes ownership of their role and harnesses that responsibility accordingly. We don’t pussyfoot around. If someone owes me assets for a video I’m going to hunt them down. If I owe someone scripts or coding for a new page you bet your ass they are hovering over my desk. But the fact is – I love this. Almost every other job i’ve had I have been afraid to follow up, which means sometimes i didn’t follow through. I didn’t want to step on toes, piss people off, etc. But taking ownership of your work brings a sense of pride and dignity, and you can see tangible results of all your efforts which can be so rewarding. Too often people expect praise for their work, and if they aren’t getting it they don’t want to put in the effort anymore. But what people forget is that their paycheck is their praise. Sure constructive feedback is important, but when you actually OWN your work, you aren’t waiting for someone to say ‘thanks for doing your job, Skip!”
Instead you are proud of it or disappointed in it, but either way you are owning it, which gives you a sense of purpose. Instead of constantly being defensive, learn from your mistakes and grow from them.
The thing is, life is just simply too short to be miserable at your job. There are steps you can take to bring passion, excitement, and joy back into your workplace. You just need to make it a priority.
To our success,