If, for some god forsaken reason, you’ve chosen to make your career in an office; or, like me, you’re stuck in one for the foreseeable future, here are some tips on making the most of your
- Be part of it
Don’t be a casual observer of the world revolving around you. Don’t spend all of your time analyzing an dissecting people. Take part! Do what’s asked of you and more. Step up exceed expectations.
- Make friends
The most important part of surviving the black-and-white carbon copy syndrome of working in an office is to make friends with a few people. Find people you can be yourself around and exchange survival techniques for your company.
- Goof around
Nothing relieves stress like taking a few minutes to act silly, tell a joke or make someone laugh. A good sense of humor is important in surviving being buried alive in an office 🙂
- Kick a$$, take names
Just kill it, crush it and other tough-guy cliches. Wake up, get the cobwebs out of your head. Get some coffee and focus up for an all out battle to achieve awesome for the day.
- Drink tons of water
It’s far too away to neglect your body when you’re busy kicking a$$ and taking names. I recommend getting a big reusable bottle and plopping it right in your desk. Make sure to finish one by lunch and another by the end of the day.
- Go for walks
Getting away from your work and your desk for a bit is super important for your mental well being. Find someone who needs a break and go walk up some stairs or to get a coffee or tea.
- Eat healthy
Pay attention to how you feel when you put crap in your body. Then eat some clean food the next time. Totally different feeling. And it turns out, the crappy stuff only leaves you feeling lethargic and empty. Also, keep away from vending machines!
- Have a hobby
This will quite possibly save your life. You’re an INFP with a lot of creativity. Channel that energy after work. Create something beautiful.
- Dream big, execute flawlessly
Spend some of your INFP dream powers to envision your company as more efficient, profitable and lean. How would you achieve that? Come up with an idea and see if any of your superiors like it. Working on your own ideas at work is a freeing feeling!
- Get sleep!
Life is a balancing act and it’s easy to think sleep isn’t important. Spend a week getting 8-9 hours each night and see how different you feel.
- Talk to your boss when you’re unsatisfied
If you’re not doing anything you like. See if there’s something else you can be doing. A lot of people are afraid they’ll get fired, but I’d rather be fired for trying to better my life and the company than for being too scared and miserable. Any good company/manager should understand that a happy employee is a productive employee.
- Get a new job!
If it’s bad, look for something new. I routinely get a new job every 3 years or so. I don’t set a timer or anything; that’s just when I get bored.
- Always work on an exit strategy
My goal in life is to run a business and quit my job. Without that dream, I will lose hope and fall into despair. So I’m constantly working on something outside of work that I think will push me toward that goal.
- Find things you like to do and get more involved
If you hear about committees or groups within work, volunteer! Talk to your manager about getting on those committees. It’s a great feeling to be in the bowels of the company trying to fix things for everyone else.
- Find allies with power
Again it comes down to befriending your boss and their boss. Show your worth to them. Help them whenever possible. Make it your mission to help them succeed and you too will succeed.
- Learn the politics of when to speak up and when to shut up
- Get massages regularly
Massages are something everyone needs more of. If you’ve never had a professional massage, go get one! They’re an important way to help you relax. If you have had one, schedule one now!
- Be passionate about your company
I once bought stock in my company just so I would care more about their success and would resist slacking off at work. After all, my wasting of time was wasting company money and killing stock price.
- Take time for yourself to have fun
Don’t be afraid to take days off to just chill, relax and get things done around the house.
- Learn to laugh about the things that annoy you
There’s a great cartoon that we software developers love called Dilbert. The little guy boils down office culture in succinct and funny little comics.
- Always learn
A corporation is full of lessons on learning, especially about how to run – and not run – a business. You’re destined for greatness if you take these lessons to heart and use them to create your own brand of awesome in the future.
- Take risks and break rules
Being comfortable is great. But it signals something is wrong. You’re not growing. Talk to your manager about getting more responsibility. Forget the social contract that we “won’t go over our boss’ head.” Just talk to your manager’s boss whenever possible. Try to understand where they’re coming from. This will open more opportunities for you.
- Workout as much as possible
If you don’t exercise during the week, you should. Exercise helps burn away anxiety and helps you feel mentally and physically strong, so you feel like you can deal with any BS the workday throws your way.
- Make friends with your manager
You can look at your manager as your enemy. Or you can get to know them on a personal level and try to understand what they’re trying to accomplish at work. You’ll unleash a ton of empathy and work will be more tolerable as you try to help them with their goals.
- Take a lunch break
I know so many people who have stopped going to lunch and I have skipped it at many of my jobs. But I now have a friend who forces us to go to lunch. Turns out it’s a great way to recharge and relax mid-workday. I don’t feel nearly as anxious or drained at the end of the day.
I’m very interested in hearing what other people do to survive Corporate America.
Do you think I missed something? Let me know in the comments and I might include it in this post!