The dream is to have a career that is fulfilling, challenging, and that pays well. But great jobs just don’t fall into a person’s lap. To secure something that fits all of the criteria can be a long and energy-sapping journey. Until most of us reach this point, there will be jobs that are on the other end of the spectrum. Rather than being exciting and demanding, they’ll be boring and soul-destroying.
Getting out of the environment is the first port of call, but it isn’t simple. Applying and securing a new position takes time and effort, both of which plenty of people don’t have. The compromise is to make work life a little more bearable from Monday to Friday. It’s certainly better than waking up and mumbling “I hate my job!” At least, this way, you’ll be able to strike a balance before leaving and starting anew.
The major things always seem as if they will have the biggest impact yet the small details can go a long way. Here are six little tricks to keep in mind around the office.
1. Work Monday To Friday
“I need a favor. Can you come in over the weekend?” The answer to that question is no, not in a million years! Well, it is the response in your head, but, shockingly, what comes out of your mouth is different. “Of course I can, boss. Anything to help the company.” We know working at the weekend isn’t high up on your to-do list on Saturday and Sunday. But, it’s not rare for workers to feel compelled to pull their weight and help out in times of need. Here’s something you may not know – you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Does your contract specify certain hours and shifts? Is the weekend within those parameters? If the answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, then the employee has the leverage. Maintaining normal working hours is essential to strike a balance between life and the office. Otherwise, people fall into the rut of never leaving the workplace. When this happens, an unhealthy dynamic begins to show. But please know that people who put in the extra hours will likely get recognition you will not. That is the way of the world
2. Learn To Say No
Telling the boss that you are unavailable for selection at the weekend requires one basic word: no. It’s a phrase that, in every other walk of life, we say without thinking. However, it’s one which seems to carry a lot more weight when speaking to the person who holds the career in the palm of their hand. Upset them off and they may come down on you. The problem with this attitude is that it gives the managers power over your life. When they need assistance, the management asks you because they know they’ll never hear “sorry, but I can’t.” Sure, they are the big cheese in the office, yet bosses don’t control their employees outside of the office. Learning to reject people in power is a crucial evolution in a person’s career as it maintains a healthy balance. Of course, you have to pick and choose when it’s appropriate. If they tell you to complete a task which is within your scope, there is no way to respond other than “will do!” It’s the extras or things that are not time sensitive where we can learn to say no.
3. Study The Rules And Regulations
Businesses have terms and conditions which they attempt to follow to the letter so that there is consistency across the company and treatment of personnel. But rules may work in your favor if A) you know what they are, and B) understand how to use them to your advantage. The idea that learning about how your employer helps the environment seems silly because it has zero impact on your career. However, there are nuggets of gold in the fine print which are critical to happy work life. Take remote working as an example. Does the firm allow you take one day off a week to telecommute? Before answering, either way, consider this – have you ever asked? Companies aren’t going to address their workforce and hand them the keys. As a strong, high-quality individual, you need to take the fight to their door. It’s as easy as asking for the perk and presenting a solid defense. “Before you answer, did you know remote working saves companies thousands of dollars in overhead?” Considering that a company wants to turn a profit, this is a pretty substantial point but make sure you have done your research and know the pros and cons and how you can work with the company to fit their needs into consideration.
4. Dress To Impress
It’s safe to say that a vast percentage of us understand the pros of dressing up. Putting on a wowing dress or a sharp suit fills us with confidence and hides the flaws. It’s as if there is a different person in the threads and he/she isn’t bothered by anything. Obviously, then, making an effort where clothes are concerned is a savvy move. Sometimes, dressing down is appropriate, especially when the atmosphere is chilled. But, it’s amazing how the right outfit can boost confidence. Apart from looking and feeling good, your clothes should make the job easier. It’s amazing how many people don’t see this as a big deal because clothes are seen as just materials stitched together. Although it is the case, in some circumstances clothes can provide everything from protection to security. For example, someone working at a manufacturing site will need to wear safe shoes and perhaps a vest. Nurses perhaps cannot vary much from scrubs but to mix style and substance, nurses, go to WonderWinkScrubShop.com for a range of options. Whether you work in a hospital, refinery, building site or an office, there is a piece of apparel which is your best friend - find it and wear whenever you are tempted to to bemoan your current job. We have linked some of our favorite office looks (including this spring dress with 3/4 sleeves and just $15) below to give you some inspiration at every price point.
5. Take Breaks and Exploit Technology
Go into any workplace in the world and there will be countless devices in operation. The odds are high that you need one to complete your tasks, which is a positive. But we aren’t productive during every minute of every day. It’s a not a slight because it’s impossible. You’re not a robot! Taking regular breaks is critical to improve output and efficiency. Don't abuse breaks and make sure you know company policy but when a break is available, open a new tab and go to Facebook.com or Twitter.com and check out what’s going on in the world or with friends. A quick break can stop monotony from setting in and prevents mental fatigue. A quick break can also remind you of the things that your work allows you to enjoy. Your current paycheck allows you to provide for your family and for fun with friends and that is absolutely a positive you can take away from the work you are doing - even if its not your long term goal to stay at that company.
6. Speak Up
Last but least, you can talk about your observations and concerns in your workplace and try and work through them to get to a better place. This is not to say you should be a constant complainer. But, speaking to your boss about what does and does not work in your current position may work wonders. Your boss may be sympathetic and can help effect change. Your boss holds the power to change your schedule and workload. But, your boss is not a mind reader so you need to discuss how you can be a better employee and what impediments to that you see in your way. You never know, you could turn your less than favorite job into a perfect fit!
Do these tips seem as if they can help get you through the day at work? What are your tips for making your workplace more bearable?
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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