How To Love Your Life Even if You Hate Your Job

Do you hate your job? Almost everyone works a job they hate at some point. Click through for 5 tips that will keep that bad job from infecting the rest of your life. >> yesandyes.org

This fantastic guest post comes via the very cool Amanda Lee whose site is now totally defunct and off the air. But credit where credit is due!

So you hate your job. Welcome to the club.

I started work this week. And by “work,” I mean “the job I’m doing to pay my school tuition, but that I by no means enjoy in the slightest.” And I’m apparently not alone at all in employment dispassion.

I have a friend who’s been steadily searching for a job for the last eleven months. Still others are waiting tables and letting their bachelor’s degrees gather dust. And some are beyond depressed at being grossly underemployed in jobs where their creativity is left to stagnate. Their work is rote, rudimentary, and unvarying from day to day.

The situation is pretty universally bad. In fact, I’d say that less than ten percent of my friends are actually content with their employment situations. For the rest of us, working is a daily exercise in learning to cope.
Luckily, we’re learning. And learning well. And it’s making us better and more focused on Getting Excited and Making Stuff. I’m terribly lucky to be close to some of the most driven and creative people ever. I’m picking up some of their habits to help me get through work every day.

Here are 5 ways to cope if you hate your job (like I do)

Remember why you’re there

Maybe your benefits rock. Maybe your tuition will be reimbursed, or your meals are free. Or maybe your pay scale leaves a ton to be desired, but you’re learning a new programming language or adding a handful of amazing projects to your portfolio. Or maybe you’re just glad to pay rent without much strain.
Whatever it is that brought you to that job in the first place, keep it in mind whenever you start telling yourself how much you dislike it.

Don’t let work be your absolute foremost priority

Yes, I know. You have a habit of eating, and you don’t want to stop doing it. Your job is what allows you to continue eating. I understand. But if you hate your job, it doesn’t make any sense to allow it to take up the biggest chunk of your time, effort, and headspace.
Don’t bring it home with you. Don’t allow your job to eat into whatever you’re doing, thinking, or consuming outside your obligatory forty hours a week. Remember that your job is a means to an end [see above], not the end itself.

Find a way to do what you want to do outside of work hours

Even if it’s not paid or prestigious, stay in the habit of being creative. It can be so easy to let your piano gather dust every night, or not to open the novel you’re working on for weeks on end. You put off finishing that poster design project.
Because if you do, before long you’re going to be lying when you call yourself a designer or a musician or a writer.

Seize control of wasted time during the workday, and use it to do what you want

This is my favorite thing ever. Between answering phones and writing up reports at warp speed, I’m sketching fashion figures in the margins of my TPS Reports. I’m knitting under my desk and wandering the neighborhood during my lunch hour to shoot pictures. I’m writing out blog posts in longhand.
One of my best friends spends his downtime at a web design firm learning the rudiments of 3-D modeling so he can use them in his video installation projects. He’s writing letters to galleries where he hopes to have shows. Do this. Do this every day.

Give yourself a deadline for moving on and make it happen

This means being an adult about your finances and making sure that you have savings to weather whatever downtime you might have between gigs. It means staying in and working on your portfolio at night instead of going out with your coworkers.
It means not getting sidetracked by any guilt-based or fear-based reasons you might want to stay just a little bit longer. It means promoting yourself and your creative work. It means taking your career seriously, not just being a dilettante with a tedious habit you half-ass your way through.
Stop making excuses and just do it. If your job is unfulfilling, you’re never going to grow to like it. Click To Tweet So why don’t you do something you love instead?

Do you guys like your jobs? If not, how are you handling it?

P.S. How to quit one job without another one lined up

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

A Youtube Channel + Coaching + A Sale + A Vacation!

Friends!

A list of things I want to talk about!

1. Yes & Yes will be on vacation through June 19th

We’ll be re-running some of our best, most helpful, most timely stuff, culled from our archives of over 2,000 posts. So stop back every day – you might see something new-to-you that helps or entertains you. Like tips for a better road trip or photos of animals in buckets.

I’ll still be pinning, chatting with people in our More Money, More Happy Facebook group, and talking my face off on Instagram Stories so you can follow along in those places if you want to see what I’m up to!

2. I’m taking these 10 days off to start a Youtube channel

This is something I’ve been thinking about + talking about for aaaaaages and now that I’ve told you about it, I HAVE TO DO IT. If you have a Youtube channel, please tell me everything I need to know! I’m working my way through an online course, but I welcome any and all suggestions and wish-I’d-known-sooner insights.

3. After 9 years of almost weekly requests, I’ll be offering one-on-one coaching

Want help with your blog or business? Writing? Your money stuff? Habit stuff? For years, very sweet readers have asked me if I’m available for coaching and I’ve always said no. But I’ve been quietly testing the waters and on July 1st I’ll open my coaching services up to the public. If you want first dibs, make sure you’re on my list!

4. This month marks Yes & Yes’s 10-year anniversary and we’ll be celebrating with a sale!

Post-vacation, we’ll be commemorating the year of Yes & Yes‘s birth – 2008 – with a 28% discount on all ecourses and books.  It’ll be 48-hour flash sale and the date is TBD, so you might want to make sure you’re signed up for email updates so you don’t miss it 🙂

As always, thank you for making Yes & Yes part of your online life. I so appreciate it!

Photo by Herson Rodriguez on Unsplash

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? We had a four day, three night trip to Decorah, Iowa (adorable!) and Minneopa State Park (waterfall! bison! very under-visited!) I spent the rest of the week co-working with friends, attending my friends’ lovely wedding, and catch of up with buddies who were in town from Australia!

Links for you!

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You probably have to get uncomfortable to get what you want

A bit of real talk about self-development, business, and self-improvement: you're more likely to get what you want if you're willing to get uncomfortable. Click through for a pep talk about getting outside of your comfort zone.

Here’s a short list of times I’ve been so uncomfortable I sweat through my shirt:

Moving to New Zealand, knowing no one
Is it a terrible idea to enroll in a graduate program in another country? I don’t know anyone here – who will I call if something goes wrong? How do I get around the city? How am I going to find an apartment?

Meeting a blog reader for coffee for the first time
What are we going to talk about? What should I wear that’s simultaneously cool and not-trying-too-hard? What if she’s disappointed by who I am IRL?

Sending a fourth follow-up email to that Dream Client
Are they going to block my emails? Will they forward them around the office, mocking me? Will I be blacklisted from their entire industry, known as That Horrible Pushy Woman From Minneapolis?

And the results of those cringe-worthy, sweat-inducing experiences?

Once-in-a-lifetime memories + an education that helps me create better courses
An eight-year friendship that includes yearly vacations to wonderful places
A five-figure contract of I-can’t-believe-you’re-paying-me-to-do-this projects

Of course, there have been puh-lenty of times I’ve screwed up my courage and flung myself out of my comfort zone, for naught. There was culture shock, refund requests, and rejected pitches.

And it’s likely that my future holds more of these awkward, unpleasant realities because that’s the nature of doing things that make you uncomfortable.

But.  
There is a direct correlation between how uncomfortable you are willing to be and how likely you are to get what you want. Click To TweetRight now, I’m witnessing this in real time.  I’m currently leading 250 people through Bank Boost, a live program where we alllll put ourselves on Spending Diets + Earning Sprees for six weeks. We cheer each other on, share ideas, and discuss the merits of Nextdoor.com’s free section.

Here’s what I’ve noticed. A few of the people doing Bank Boost have thrown themselves into their Earning Sprees headlong. Becoming a shopper for Instacart? Sure, they’ll give it a try! Figuring out how to sell things on Poshmark? Okay! Telling people (repeatedly! on different social media platforms!) that they’re available for hire? Yup!

Unsurprisingly, the people who have been willing to try new things and make themselves uncomfortable are the exact same people who have brought in an extra $1,000 in three weeks.

Coincidence? Nope.
The vast majority of people are unwilling to make themselves uncomfortable. When you inhabit a space most people are unwilling to go, you’ve got less competition and you’re more likely to get what you want. Click To TweetI am not, of course, suggesting that you push past your discomfort to follow a dicey-seeming dude down a dark alley to see the puppies in his windowless van. This is not where I convince you that you should remain in your uncomfortable job with your emotionally abusive boss.

But I imagine we all know the difference between good-for-you uncomfortable and bad-for-you uncomfortable.

Good-for-your uncomfortable feels terrifying and brave and exciting. It’s doing the things you know you need to do, even though you might not be doing them perfectly. It’s taking a deep breath and clicking ‘send.’

It’s walking into a room full of strangers with your head held high, your heart beating in your throat, and a desire to try your best – even if you’re sweating through your shirt a little bit.

I want to hear from you! If you’re good at doing things that make you uncomfortable, tell us how you work up the courage in the comments below so we can learn from you!

P.S. If you need 1-on-1 help or accountability to get uncomfortable, I can do that!

Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I coffee-d, caught up, and took walks with several friends, went to a graduation party and stuffed my face appropriately, and today Kenny and I are enjoying a four-day, three night sojourn in this adorable Airbnb. A converted train car! I am charmed! (If you’ve ever used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!)

Links for you

Since it’s summer and we’re all at the lake/pool/ocean/river, a reminder that drowning doesn’t look like drowning.

Some professional insight into what’s going on with the ‘missing migrant children.’  I didn’t know any of this!

If you’re in the twenties and life doesn’t quite look how you thought it would, 7 impressive, accomplished women share stories from their lives at 22.
My boss would take credit for my work, had unrealistic expectations and made me cry weekly. I spent every chance I could hitting the town with my girlfriends…crossing our fingers that guys would buy us drinks – we certainly couldn’t afford our lifestyle. I lived with my best friend in a tiny yet adorable apartment that was in a shady part of town.

I pre-ordered this SO FAST.

Every time I post a selfie, someone asks about my eyeliner. It’s just this! $5.50!

Whaaaat? Playing Tetris after a traumatic event can reduce the likelihood of PTSD? (There are actually multiple studies that support this.)

Should we all be rebooting our routers?

This is really sweet: The Love Story I Never Thought To Tell.

Super interesting: 5 people on why they code-switch.
If I want to make guests, new folks or students of mine comfortable, I’ll greet them with a plucky “Hay y’all,” clasp onto their forearms and ensure them that “I got you baby!” As I’m pushing into my late twenties, I’m starting to recognize the patterns of when I use my Kentucky accent outside of familial spaces, and every time it’s to create warmth.

This Mediterranean cauliflower rice looks amazing!

Related: One Busy Mom & Recipe Tester’s Favorite $10 Meals

Thoughts on doing our part.
It’s the man and woman who left halfway through that I’ve thought of most often. His actions, his words, revealing a brand of entitlement that I’ve rarely seen so close. It was below his pay grade­­–that was the sense of it. And so he didn’t want to deal with it. But none of us did.

Not one person who walked into that coffee shop late on their Sunday could have anticipated, or expected, what was going to happen–­­and certainly, not one of us wished for it. And the thing about him leaving was this: it didn’t end the situation–­­didn’t ameliorate the conflict. He left the rest of us in there–­­in that small storefront, grappling with the situation and our conflicted feelings. He walked away, leaving the rest of us in the shit. And he knew it.

I loved these tips on decorating with inherited pieces.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect, It Just Has To Be Something

Supporting friends, running a business, making good choices, being politically involved - it doesn't have to be perfect. Doing anything is better than doing nothing. Click through for a pep talk and good ideas!

I see my friend across the noisy bar and I immediately blush and smile awkwardly.

Seven months ago, my friend went through Something Awful. The sort of thing they write country songs about and base made-for-tv movies on. I was heartbroken for her! I was vicariously incensed! I had no idea what to say to her so I didn’t say anything!

Now this friend – the one who has spent the last half-year rebuilding her life with zero support from me – is making her way through the crowd in my direction.

And as soon as she is within hearing distance I start babbling a strange combination of small talk questions and reasons/excuses for why she hasn’t heard from me.

“I’m so sorry, dude. I wanted to write you the world’s most perfect card and I didn’t know what to say, so I just didn’t say anything. And that’s awful and you deserve better and I’m really sorry. Seriously, I’m so sorry. ”

She waits me out and then puts her hand on my arm and says, “Sarah, it didn’t have to be perfect. It just had to be something.”

Of course, I teared up and we hugged, and I vowed to do better in pretty much every arena of my life and our conversation moved on to her plans for the holiday season and aren’t the fries at this place great?

Unsurprisingly, her words stayed with me and I’ve started applying them to other parts of my life.

Because here’s the thing: Perfectionism isn’t actually about perfection. It’s about procrastination and fear of vulnerability. Click To Tweet
If we don’t move forward till something is perfect – what luck! – we never have to move forward! We never have to make ourselves vulnerable to rejection or failure. We never have to feel awkward or worry that we’re doing the wrong thing because we’re not doing anything.

If you know you should be doing something, don’t hide in perfectionism.

When your friend loses a parent, goes through a health crisis, or gets divorced, your support doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be something. Don’t spend so long searching for the perfect words that you don’t say anything.

You can shoot her an email. You can spend 60 seconds writing out a fond memory of their late parent. You can send him a text that says “thinking of you today.”

When your senator votes to deport Dreamers or your mayor makes racist comments, don’t wait till you’ve crafted the perfect call script or fax. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be something. You can leave a voicemail after hours that just says “We’re disappointed in your policies and behavior and will be voting accordingly.”

If you’re trying to buy fewer things you don’t need or save up for a big exciting purchase, you don’t have to avoid Target for the rest of your life. You don’t have to de-clutter down to, like, two t-shirts and one vase. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be something.

Don’t wait till the perfect moment to get your finances figured out. Once wedding season is past? When this big work project is over? You can unsubscribe from J. Crew’s newsletter. You can bring lunch to work once a week.

We hide in perfectionism when we’re not sure which step to take next. More often than not, the right step is ANY step. Click To Tweet

But I want to hear from you! Are you a recovering perfectionist? If you are, how’d you get past it? Have you ever used perfection as an excuse not to do something?

P.S. If you need 1-on-1 support and accountability to get past your perfectionism, I can help with that!

photo by Jose Llamas // cc