How To Survive Your Job in 2013

Sometimes work sucks. No shock, Sherlock.

I don’t know how your 2012 turned out work-wise, but if it was less than perfect, I wouldn’t bet on 2013 being a walk in the park either. While your co-workers are preparing for the zombie apocalypse (Who needs a Mayan calendar right?), I’d suggest you take a moment or two to reassess your job satisfaction and consider a few ways to make 2013 more rewarding.

Luckily, I love my job, but on more than one occasion, I’ve had managers tell me they’re surprised at how well I evaluate my position. I grew up on a farm so I know there are way worse places I could be on a winter’s morning than a cubicle at Global Knowledge headquarters in Cary, NC.

If someone who is as jaded and sarcastic as I am (okay, at times I’ve even been called an insatiable whiner) can see the bright side of my job, surely I can help you do the same:

First Things First

I’m a creative at heart. News reporter, ad copywriter, and graphic designer, my resume states. Somewhere in the middle, I had the opportunity to work the IT Helpdesk at a busy metropolitan daily newspaper. I was paid well, which by the way, really helps with job satisfaction. But four months out of the year, I had to work at night since the newspaper had other employees who worked at all hours of the night. When the time came to make out the schedule, I always volunteered for the nightshift first. I dreaded the nightshift, and it was one of the few things about my job I could have done without. In the process, I found out I was a nightowl. Who knew? Plus I had the rest of the year to work 9 to 5. We all have aspects of our jobs we don’t enjoy. I’d suggest getting them over and done with as quickly as possible. I can’t promise a rush of ecstasy, but I’ll bet you’ll enjoy the rest of your day or year without that dreaded task lurking overhead like a dark storm cloud.

Delete Distractions

Time management can be key to job satisfaction. If you’re swamped with too much to do, look at what distractions take up your valuable time. Every now and then I’ve done the unthinkable and turned my work phone to automatically go to voice mail. Though a lot of my work is based on the next email I receive, if I have a task at hand, I’ll force myself to finish it before I check my email again. I log out of our internal chat client several times a day depending on what I am doing. If visitors to your office or cubicle are the problem, try wearing a headset or pair of headphones. It’s amazing how many folks will rethink bothering you if they think you’re on a conference call or listening to a webinar. What they had to say must not have been so important after all. Just make sure you minimize the YouTube video you’re watching before they get too close.

Poor Pitiful You

Your job is not the worst in the world, your boss is not the devil incarnate, and your company is not the most poorly run organization on God’s green Earth. Believe me, there’s always someone with a worse job, or a worse boss, or a worse-run company. In other words, get over yourself. If you’re having a problem doing so, then just ask a friend who won’t. Misery loves company so reach out to a trusted friend and trade a hard-luck story or two. It may be difficult, but try to keep the whining to a supportable level. Friends are good to have, and we want to ensure we keep them around for the next time we need a release of built-up workplace-induced frustration. That’s what friends are for, right? Sharing stories with someone separate from your company or even your department can have immediate cathartic effects. This bond will help both of you laugh at your situations, clear your heads, and hopefully get back on track at work.

Do A Good Deed

Whether it’s a simple donation to Toys for Tots or potentially saving a life by donating blood to the Red Cross, if you feel frustrated at work or think your work doesn’t matter much, try making a difference somewhere else. From Wounded Warriors to Hurricane Sandy victims, there are plenty of opportunities to directly benefit your fellow man, sometimes even at work. Paying it forward does the soul good. Now get back to work!

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