Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5 tips for making your boring job better

An old friend of mine once told me that she used to adore reading until she started writing literary criticism for a living. Even at the best of times, we don't always love what we do, and when times are tough -- like they are right now -- it's not so easy to ditch a job just because you're not enjoying it.

At The 36-Hour Day, I'm writing about ways to make your boring job better -- or, at least, ways to make yourself appreciate it a little more. The details are over there, but here are the basics:

1.) Get energized. Here are a few ways to boost your energy levels without leaving the office.

2.) Personalize your space.

3.) Have a life outside of the office. If you’re not deriving satisfaction from your 9-to-5, look for ways to feel fulfilled when you’re not at work.

4.) Turn off the inner critic or control freak. If that seems like too far-reaching of a goal, focus on this: Pick your battles. Figure out what’s most important to you and fight for it -- and let the rest slide.

5.) Face the facts. If you’re truly unsatisfied with your job, and you’re willing to take a few risks, now may be a great time to figure out what you really love to do. If you can’t figure out a way to get paid for it, do it on your own time and put it on your resume — as Penelope Trunk points out, your resume isn’t about your income, it’s about your experience.

2 comments:

Nadine said...

Your opening line made me laugh - I loved fashion (specifically shopping) when I was an innocent consumer but came to loathe it when I landed a job as a fashion buyer and shopping became something I had to do in my downtime to keep up with the competition. Eventually I couldn't stand seven hour discussions about the merits of one shade of blue over another, a la Devil-Wears-Prada, and left.

...I stumbled onto your blog from the comment you left on Dave Shankbone's blog about the AVR controversy on Wikipedia and AfterEllen... crazy stuff!

Lylah M. Alphonse said...

Thanks, Nadine! I've had to sit through way too many way-too-long discussions over things like whether our style should be "garlic, minced" or "minced garlic," so I hear ya'!