How To Survive Your Job in 2023
By John Mark Ivey
Sometimes work sucks. No shock, Sherlock.
I don’t know how your 2022 turned out work-wise, but if it was less than perfect, I wouldn’t bet on 2023 being a walk in the park either. What I would suggest is for you to take a moment to reassess your job satisfaction and consider a few ways to make 2023 more rewarding.
Luckily, I love my job, but on more than one occasion during my career, 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 my home office on the North Carolina Coast. If someone who is as jaded and sarcastic as I am (I like to think of myself as observant and witty) 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.
No Time For That
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 put my phone away or quit Outlook for an afternoon. 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 Teams several times a day depending on what I am working on and need to get done. If visitors to your office or cubicle are the problem, try wearing a headset or pair of headphones. This tactic also works well for the family or roomies if you work from home. 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. It can wait.
You Poor Thing
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 the planet. 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 disaster 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!
John Mark Ivey is an award-winning designer and journalist with an extensive background in corporate communications, advertising, and digital marketing. A cancer survivor, he serves as social media and digital marketer at iT1.
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