Jul 13, 2010

Practical Solutions: Volume 3 – Apathy Square Dance

Have you ever woken up just wondering how you’re going to put one foot in front of the other just to stand another day at a job you pretty much hate? Do you look yourself in the mirror and wonder if you’ll ever do something more for yourself apart from settling? Are you swimming in a simmering pool of apathy?

Then count yourself among more than a hundred million people that hate what they do for a living. Simply put, jobs are quite often unadventurous, uninspiring, stupid, lame, and just a fancy way of convincing people to let you do remedial tasks so they allocate acquisitive points in your bank account. It’s simple either we’re designed to hate jobs or jobs are designed to be hated. The reality doesn’t change though, you are putting up and you’re asking yourself if there’s something you can do so you don’t go ballistic.

Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do. Actually, here are ten things you can do just to help you cope:

1. First off. Update your résumé. I’m all for people feeling in control of their destinies and the first step is to take your résumé and have it up-to-date. When you’re writing it, be honest but remember, you’re selling yourself on an 8 by 11 piece of paper. If you don’t like what you read, imagine an HR person (but that’s another post altogether).

2. After you have your résumé updated. Analyze yourself. Are you going through a personal funk? Do you feel professionally stunted? What’s up with you and be real honest when you answer. If you need a piece of paper to write it down, do so. You’d be amazed at the stuff you write when you give yourself the opportunity to write about what you’re feeling. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer. You just want to know what the hell you’re feeling to see if you can find solutions… and if they’re practical, then better.

3. Change your daily route, change up how your home is decorated and just embed some real change in your typical day to day. Often times, people land in a funk on all levels and when you break the monotony in your routine, other changes may be soon to follow.

4. Look at your company and see if there’s another department you can work for. Even in advertising, there’s the opportunity to switch departments, although it’s not as common as in other companies. The point is to look around your immediate vicinity and see if there’s anything you’re interested in. If there is, talk to people. In case you’re wondering, it’s more important to be likeable and show drive than it is to be smart or skilled.

5. Look at classified ads and send out that résumé you updated in point #1. Getting job offers even if you don’t go to an interview immediately makes you feel like you’re in control and you are, you just don’t know it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even go to one and get a new job. What’s there to lose except time and a little paper? Small price to pay for your peace of mind.

6. What are you eating? Often times, depression is a direct result of our crappy eating habits. Drink more water, throw some veggies in the mix and treat your body with a little more respect. It’s not to say you’ll eat only tofu, but seriously, Mac Attacks 3 times a week is an express lane to physical depression.

7. Are you getting enough sunlight? Another thing that pushes people down is the fact that they don’t breathe air that isn’t conditioned and don’t absorb light unless it’s fluorescent. Fun Fact, office lights do not contain the entire spectrum of light and the greens and blues found in natural light are not being absorbed by your mind. These are also the spectrums that help you feel more energized and put less strain on your eyesight. More strain = more fatigue = greater sense of apathy.

8. Is boredom a key thing eating away at you? Bring a book to work. Copy interesting information in word docs at home and read at work. Save the files with typical job days. Odds are you will be monitored in relation to the programs you use and not always being monitored in regards to EXACTLY what you’re doing in each program.

9. Are you young and single? Then there’s no reason to not go abroad. Look for exchange programs that offer to pay for your stay at some other place. Get a new experience in your life. After all, if your only ties are material ones, then you have no ties. Fly free.

10. Study something that does inspire you. It could be a minor degree, an associate’s degree, a masters etc. Whatever it is, just make sure you like it. And after you’ve been at it in a while, see in what way you can adapt what you’ve learned to your company. It will show drive and will allow you to possibly pursue something else in your company or give you something to look forward to every day instead of your computer screen.


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