The Internet is plagued with clichéd articles telling you the corporate world is basically like Disneyland, where everything is golden and all you have to do is use a little elbow grease and you’ll be okay.
Well, I’m here to spill the beans on this facade. It’s simply not true. Sometimes your job sucks and no amount of top 7, top 8, or top 10 lists on how to get ahead will change that.
The problem is that you still need to make money. You hate your job and you’re disenfranchised with the corporate world, but you still need to get paid in order to support yourself.
So what do you do? If there is anything I’ve learned from my time on reddit, it’s that redditors are brutally honest—regardless of what that honesty entails. So I’m going to be brutally honest with all of you. I’m not gonna sit here and give you advice like “cheer up” or “shift your mindset” because we all know that’s common sense, and you could and would do it yourself if it were possible.
Instead, I’ll speak from my own personal experiences. Hopefully, it will help some of you look at your job in a new light.
1. Don’t work longer than you’re supposed to
If you’re expected to work 9-5, work 9-5. Don’t waste extra time in that hellhole. My reasoning for this is simple: it will affect your overall happiness and productivity. Think about it, you’re miserable for 8 hours a day, every day. That’s 40 hours of misery a week. Imagine if you stayed an hour late every day. That would bump the number up to 45 hours of misery a week. Don’t do that to yourself. You’ll probably get more work done working 40 hours than 45, anyway.
2. Find a side project
Part of the reason you’re miserable is because you’re not really being fulfilled creatively. If you picked up a side project to work on, you would at least be able to find something to look forward to during the day. You could start a blog. Take up cooking. Start a YouTube channel. There are tons of options out there. And who knows, one day that side project might become your main source of income.
3. Learn while you work
At this point, we’re assuming your job is dull and unfulfilling. So why not learn something while you work? Listen to a podcast about science (my personal favorite is StarTalkRadio), nature, or anything you find interesting. You can even teach yourself a new language while you enter data into that spreadsheet. As long as your hands do the work, your brain can focus on learning Spanish, French, etc.
4. Take a nap
What better way to rejuvenate your energy and productivity than by taking a nap? Can’t take a nap in your office because your boss is a fire breathing dragon? You can download breather from the app store, an app that lets you rent quiet spaces for 30+ minute intervals. Each comes furnished with a table, sofa, and most importantly: silence. While this app should be used sparingly because it can cost anywhere from $20-$40 an hour, taking a nap once a week can work miracles for your overall mindset.
So basically what I’m getting at is that even if your job sucks, there are things you can do to rejuvenate your enthusiasm and productivity. All of these things, when used together, can provide you with the ability to work hard at your job even if you no longer care. Because at the end of the day, you don’t need to care about your job in order to bring home that bacon. You just need to rig the game in your favor.
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