Finding the Balance: Work

Work. This is one topic I repeatedly struggle with. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve found the right fit yet, and at this point in my life, there have been over 10 jobs, ranging from a nanny of an undiapered toddler (yes, you read that right), to Data Specialist at a swanky drug rehab. Good times, friends, good times.

A little over two years ago I was praying that I’d land a position with one of the top companies in my area. I was so ready to ditch my 90-minute commute to Connecticut that I left without a solid plan and took a job at my old college answering phones for the executive vice president. I was bored out of my freaking mind, just biding my time until I could land something…well, real.

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My go-to interview outfit.

I did all things short of voodoo and offering up my first (un)born child to get my dream job. I can’t stress to you just how much I wanted to work at my current company and become a professional marketer. Then, the most miraculous thing happened – I got the job, and it was seriously one of my happiest moments.

Flash forward two years and I have to constantly remind myself that this is what I wanted so many moons ago. I think, sometimes, we just get stuck in a rut wondering if there’s more to life than sitting behind a computer for 8 hours a day and having a timed lunch break.

Most people have these fleeting thoughts. We spend time with our families on holidays and extended breaks and think how wonderful it would be if we could just do this every day. We’re able to go to the DMV or the doctors or even to a $3 matinee at the local cinema, and it would be amazing if this were everyday life.

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Cooking with my mom and nanny.

How do you balance your want-to-be work life with your actual work life?

Let’s face it – work-life balance doesn’t exist. There’s never going to be a 50-50 split on the time because most of your awake hours are spent at work, getting ready for work, or traveling to and from…you guessed it – WORK! So if you don’t have a job you’re crazy about – either find a way to get crazy about it or find a way to get out.

In the meantime, here are a few of the things you can do to keep your sanity during the work week. It’s by no means a complete list, but it will get your gears moving. It’s time to make work great again!

Make Time for YOU

A coworker once told me that his life begins at 5:00 pm. That statement was so powerful. Work is literally that, work. It doesn’t have to be fun. You go, devote 8 hours to make someone else’s dream come true, you go home, and you work on your dream.

I do cherish every moment I’m away from my cubicle – whether lunch, evening, or weekend. I try to fill my days with wonderful people and things that I love.

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Can’t wait until spring! This girl needs some TLC and a good wash!

When I’m not at my 8-5, I can be found reading PD, blogging, whipping up some new recipes, working out in my home gym, or sprucing up my Murphy girl (my FIAT) – basically just trying to be a better person.

Be Grateful

We ALWAYS tend to ruminate on the bad, but I bet if you put your mind to it, you can think of a few good things in any job situation.

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One of many gratitude journals.

  1. I’m fortunate to live less than 3 miles from my job. I can literally leave the house 10 minutes before “the bell rings.” I can go home for lunch and let the dogs out – or more realistically, take a power nap. I can even come home at a decent time to cook dinner before the street lights come on. This is the second closest I’ve ever been to a job (literally, one of them was on the same block as my house), and I can definitely appreciate it.
  2. I’m getting PAID, which is more than I can say about my last position answering phones for breadcrumbs. At this point, it doesn’t matter if I think I deserve more, I still have enough to pay the bills, go on vacation, and manage the day-to-day. There are so many people who don’t have that luxury.
  3. I’m building some kick-ass marketing and people skills. These last few months have been all about structure and responsibility changes in my department. I’m throwing around the words Business Case Analyses, Marketing Analytics, and Product Playbooks, and all of that sounds pretty damn good. Whether I stay at my current job for 10 more years or decide to leave tomorrow, this should give me some ammo with the Big Leagues (as they say).

Take Breaks

Psychology Today suggests that breaks at work can improve performance.

I cannot sit still for my life. After 30 minutes (especially if I’m in a boring meeting) I’m ready to go run a mile and exercise my legs. I end up fidgeting, bouncing my leg, changing positions. I can be really distracting to myself and others. And I know it!

A lot of research shows that we should take breaks every 60-90 minutes. I usually do this by refilling my water bottle, going to someone’s office instead of sending an email, or walking to the farthest bathroom. Sometimes I even take the 10 minute round trip walk to the library down the block and back.

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I love tea time!

It’s unhealthy to get into a habit of skipping breaks or lunch because you’re in the zone. If nothing else, your eyes – and bladder – could use the break!

Find a Passion

I was called to serve, and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same. I want to help people -especially women – and do something with my life that matters both now and after I’m gone.

In my early 20s, I was in an abusive relationship. It took a while for me to leave, and when I did, I was fully stripped of any self-love, self-worth, and power that once made me proud to be me. It took years to get over it, and I’m finally at a place where I can help others escape the same nightmare.

The mission of Diary of a Snacker is to empower women to be fit, healthy, and happy. It was fitness and self-care, along with the support of loved ones, that help me bounce back from the darkness that almost consumed me.

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Proud to be me.

Today, I wake up pray, meditate, and workout, spending an hour or more with myself in my basement gym, where I feel like Wonder Woman. It’s where I set the intentions for the day and vow never to be weak again.

What are you passionate about?

Don’t let work consume you

There’s no immediate fix for job dissatisfaction, and unless you can survive on 3 hours of sleep, you’ll never have a good work-life balance. But if you dig deep, I’m sure you can think of ways to turn a not-so-good situation into a tolerable one. I have faith in you!

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Last year we celebrated Ice Cream Soda Day with this spread. There’s always a way to make work enjoyable.

Do you love your job? How do you cope if you don’t? I want to know!

Check out last week’s post and stay tuned next week to learn about finding the balance at home.

Peace, Love, Zen

DS

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