How To Beat The Employment Blues

How To Beat The Employment Blues
Carly Jacobs

nless you’re a weird sparkle fairy unicorn human, it’s highly likely you will experience a little (or a lot) of job dissatisfaction in your working life. Everyone does. Even famous musicians and film stars. They’re taught to ‘never complain, never explain’ but when you read about how Jennifer Garner had to get up at 4am to do a two hour workout before filming for sixteen hours a day for Alias – honestly? That sounds fucking dreadful. I’ve spent a good portion of my life wanting to be a professional actor but that sounds like hell. You also can’t eat or drink wine. Thanks Hollywood but consider my application withdrawn. The truth is, work is called work for a reason and people pay you to do it because you wouldn’t do it for free. This doesn’t mean you have to be totally miserable all the time though, because that would be just awful. If you’re feeling a bit shitty about your work situation here are a few things that might just help you beat the employment blues.

Photo 8-02-2016, 4 44 47 PM

All jobs suck a bit

You have to understand that all jobs suck a bit. Even the best jobs. Beyonce’s job sucks a bit. Obama’s job sucks a bit. Oprah’s job sucks a bit. There are always bad sides to every job, including yours. This even applies to your dream job you haven’t got yet – yep. It sucks a bit too. I find whenever I have to do things I don’t like doing I think about people who have it worse in their jobs. The next time you’re feeling resentful at having to clean the office kitchen every fortnight on a roster think about poor Juliette Danielle having to film love making scenes with Tommy Wiseau in The Room. I’d much rather clean out a mouldy plastic container than do that.

You need money to live

Working actually isn’t optional. If you’re not doing your current job, you’re going to need to do a different job but at the end of the day you need a job. Unless you’re the heir to a giant fortune (which I think you’ll find is actually a lot of work in itself) this is something you’re going to have to get used to. Whenever I’m a bit grumpy about having to do something I don’t want to do I think how lucky I am to even have a job where I work for myself, mostly doing things I love. I also think about all the students I used to teach with special needs who would kill to have jobs. Most of them would be grown up now and their employment prospects are limited. I had to point this out to a mate recently who has having a whinge about flex time being cut at his 100k a year public service job. I gently reminded him that there are rural teens who are fighting for Saturday McDonald’s jobs and he needed a bit of perspective.

Leisure time is only leisure time if you work for it

It takes about 6 hours for a fit-ish person to run a marathon. 6 hours. That’s almost a full work day, doing something that most people don’t find very pleasant. Running. I thought about what I would prefer to do for 6 full hours other than running and I couldn’t think of a single thing. Nothing is fun for 6 hours straight. Reading and crocheting come close for me but even then, 6 hours is over kill. This is why people tend to get a bit antsy towards the end of holidays. Humans naturally need to work to earn their rest and rest doesn’t feel like rest unless you’ve tired yourself out. You need responsibility and monotony in order to enjoy your leisure.

Make it fun

I’ve had some pretty average jobs in my time. I used to work in a newsagent and when it was quiet, it was so boring my head would hurt. So I invented a game called Rubber Band Ring Toss. I’d take the receipt spike and try to throw rubber bands over the spike, like a ring toss and I’d challenge my co-workers to beat my record. This game spread through out the week day staff as well and eventually we had a white board with everyone’s scores on it. The customers all thought it was hilarious too and it made long Saturday shifts absolutely fly by. It was such a simple little thing that made a dull job sparkle a bit. If you’re finding your job deathly boring it might be time to mix things up a little.

Use your leisure time wisely

You can’t go anywhere on the internet at the moment without stumbling upon an article about someone who went from being a high flying lawyer with a 200k pay packet to selling ice cream on a beach in Mexico and they couldn’t be happier. The main takeaway from articles like this is that the person in question realised they were killing themselves earning multiple 6-figures in jobs they hated so they could buy $100 bottles of champagne on the weekend to forget about the jobs they hated. This isn’t true for everyone but it’s a pretty sobering thought if it applies to you. It’s important to not waste your leisure time if you don’t love your job. If you spend all day hating what you’re doing only to come home and spend all evening scrolling through Facebook or drinking yourself stupid at the pub, where’s all the joy in your life? Make sure you plan and do lovely things outside of your work to make it worth your while. You might also like to ask yourself if 16 hour days and no social life is worth it for a fancy car. If it is, keep doing what you’re doing. If it’s not, figure out a way to fix it.

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What’s your job situation like? Do you like your job? Or do you loathe it?


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  1. Mary 6 years ago

    The husband gets real tired real quick when I complain about my (self-employed) job. Sometimes I just need to get it out, everyone does.
    But sometimes, too, I need perspective. I set my own hours, I’ve figured out what’s a good use of my time in many ways, and for the most part, I love what I do six days a week. Thanks for additional perspective!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      It’s so hard when you work for yourself and that’s perceived as the dream but it doesn’t mean you don’t have bad days! It’s all about perspective though – if I’m having a bad blogging day I think how bad bad teaching days were and it shuts me up pretty quickly.

  2. Dee 6 years ago

    I’m actually one of those lucky people who loves their job. I’m working in a field that I really enjoy and with a wonderful team of people. The organisation is also filled with people who are really passionate about what we deliver and I feel like it is an important service for the community – so I’m also lucky enough to work in a company who’s values align with my own.

    Yeah, sometimes there are crappy parts of my job, but when I’m feeling down about work I just remind myself that there a lot of people out there who really hate their job/company/boss.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Exactly! I also think your colleagues can make a huge difference. Awesome workmates can make a shitty job totally awesome. Also that’s so true about values – I think a lot of work dissatisfaction comes from feeling a bit useless.

  3. Alix 6 years ago

    Great advice and very timely. Thanks!

  4. Renee Wilson 6 years ago

    Great read. It’s time for a change for me, so I’m taking six months leave after Easter to reassess what I want to do 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      That’s so good! You should always take time to reevaluate whenever you can – so many people just plough through without thinking they can change anything. Good luck!

  5. chrisatpb 6 years ago

    For 12 years I hated my job. I had a great boss and work colleagues, which made it bearable. About 4 years ago we had a bit of a restructure and I got the courage up to tell my boss that if he kept me doing the same thing in the reshuffle, it was a deal breaker for me. He gave me responsibility for another area and I now quite look forward to going to work. I sometimes feel bad for the person who is now doing what I used to do, but she doesn’t seem to mind it as much as I did and thankfully doesn’t resent me for the change around. xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Oh good on you! That’s so true – sometimes people hate things about a job that other people will love. I hate the thought of you hating your job for 12 years but super happy now you’re out of that position.

  6. Veggie Mama 6 years ago

    I have my dream job that is amazing and wonderful and sometimes it fucking sucks so much I could cry. But you know, hashtag blessed

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Word. That’s pretty much. I’m in love with my job but also sometimes I wish I had a salaried job just so I could slack off and someone else would pay me to do that. 🙂

  7. Janna 6 years ago

    Thank you Carly!! I’ve been in a bit of a rut since having a months holiday over Xmas and just haven’t had the motivation to be bothered since I’ve been back! Thanks for the kick up the butt that I needed to get myself back into the swing of things


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