By now, most of us have started back at work for the year, and that first day back is always one of the toughest.
It’s waking up next to your partner the day after the end of your honeymoon, looking at them and thinking, ‘Welcome to the rest of my life.’
The big problem then is that you can’t get freaky with your job, or while at work. Well you shouldn’t, and please don’t give it a go unless you have your own office – with the blinds down and door locked.
If you and your partner are really attractive and good at it though, well maybe you should go for it – especially if you have an open plan office.
Anyway, no matter how long they are, holidays are never long enough. It’s some weird mathematical equation where each day of holidays seems to pass in the same time as one hour at work. Apart from that first hour after the holidays, when you’re staring at over a thousand unread emails and are too afraid to open any of them, because that will mean your holidays are officially over.
For me, it’s only ever the last few days of my days off that are actual holidays, as until takes until then for my mind to join my body outside of the office.
During those last few days, something curious always happens. The brain space that’s usually filled with work worries, stresses and football gets filled with something else – fantasies. About what I’d rather be doing with my life.
Something similar happens to a lot of people I know, and this is another reason that first day back is so difficult.
Now as so many of us have just started back, we’ve all still got that dream right there, fresh from being constructed over our last few days off. So this is our big chance to finally do something about it. Or ignore it, and let it be stamped back down into the subconscious by the daily grind.
So if you’re struggling to stick in a job you despise, or are just ambivalent about, here are two things worth considering:
1) When it comes do a partner, would you ever consider committing your life to someone you can barely tolerate? If you have, I’m sorry and good luck.
2) Several studies and experts much smarter than me have figured out what it takes for a fulfilling work life, and it’s this simple: Humans need work to be happy, and are happiest when that work is challenging, feels important, provides satisfaction, and involves them having a meaningful say in how the organization is run.
But what if you can’t just quit that job you hate, or have very limited choices?
Most of us would prefer to be supermodel DJ’s who only have to work three days a year, but that isn’t a real job unless you’re asleep.
The key to being happier in the workplace then becomes shifting your attitude to the job you do have.
Do you try your best to make it fulfilling? Or do you complain about it non-stop?
You do have to actively search for new opportunities, but those people who complain all the time? The best they ever do is appearing on a gameshow, and perhaps winning a fridge. Which as it turns out, is the perfect place for their personality.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.
His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.
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