While I always see my fellow yoga teachers post inspirational quotes like "do what you love, do what you do" and "do what you love and never work a day in your life," to me, at this moment in time, it is not realistic. I've been trying so hard to find what my 'purpose' is and I'm still pretty lost and really do not know what I want to do.
While I do find the law interesting and exciting at times, it certainly is not my ideal job, as a trainee it's hard to manage my workload, so it’s difficult to plan. I'll often be the last to know of any conference calls I have to sit in on and as a result will have to cancel plans I've had in the diary for a while. In addition to this, I find it challenging sitting down at my desk all day with little opportunity to see the outside of the office walls.
1. Don't compare yourself on social media.
Social media portrays the highlights of people's lives. Often on my Instagram feed there are tonnes of yogis and fitness bloggers posting pictures of themselves in pyjamas at home with the caption "work life" or storying sponsored events they’ve been invited to attend. Of course, this looks so much more appealing than a desk job. But these yoga teachers are also my friends, and I know first-hand the hardships they face, such as instable income and often for new teachers, uncertain working hours too. In an Instagram era it seems as if so many people are giving up on their office jobs to travel the world in a converted van and having the time of their lives. But we don't see the behind the scenes, the sacrifices they’ve made and in the long run, we don't know how long they will be able to sustain such a lifestyle.
2. Have some non-negotiables at work
Unless I am absolutely swamped by deadlines, one of my non negotiables at work is to take a full hour for lunch or minimum 45 minutes. This gives me time to either meet a friend or go for a walk, meaning that at least I get to see the sunshine for a while. Maybe bring in a desk plant (depending on your supervisor) and have little tea breaks with your colleagues once in a while just to check up on each other.
3. Constantly remind yourself of the benefits
There are always going to be pros and cons to a job, it's cyclical with a plethora of ups and downs. When I have days at work where I've actually enjoyed myself, I will write this down or tell my friend. This will help me find a pattern in the work or subject matter I really enjoy. It's also something I very subtly hint to my supervisors; in the hope they will give me more of it. As a trainee, you can't demand what type of work you do, but subtle hints are useful and it shows enthusiasm. In addition, think about the other benefits of your job, does it pay well- allowing you to pursue things you love outside of work? Do you have great colleagues and a good company culture? Do you get on with your boss? Etc. I honestly don't believe we can have it all (feel free to disagree with me), things could always be better or worse and so I think we should focus on making sure that the benefits of the job outweigh the pros.
4. Have someone you can talk to about your work
It helps to have a vent. Although no one likes someone who is always complaining, an occasional rant always helps me. Have a friend you can trust either inside or outside of your company where you can really express how you are feeling helps. In addition, talking to people in the same industry at the same level as you can make a difference, often a lot of people are going through the same hardships/challenges as you. It's important to have support and camaraderie; this potentially takes the edge off any discontent you feel. I have fellow trainees that also have the occasional hard time and we support each other, chatting and making light of our predicaments. Sharing is caring.
5. Think of it as a stepping stone
If you're genuinely hating life at work (this isn't me just for the record- I have enjoyed some aspects of my job), then know that this is temporary. If a job is causing you so much stress and upset, it really is not worth it, if 5/7 days you're unhappy, then that's 70% of your week being upset. No job is worth that. Additionally, you could think of the job as a stepping stone, giving you skills or experience that will help you in the future. If you're working long hours, perhaps you can look at it as developing resilience. If you don't get on with your boss this will teach you how to manage and work with different people. All these things we may see as 'negative' are actually providing us with transferable skills we can utilise inside and outside the workplace.
6. Plan your holidays well
Time off is really important.
If you're feeling run down and ill, then feel free to take a sick day. You are entitled to these and will not have the occasional day off held against you. Even if you can't afford to go on holiday, make plans to do things you usually wouldn't have time to do like a really long run or cooking a meal for yourself.
I'm still young and I have a lot of time to figure out what I want to do and I am going to use the next year and a half to learn as much as possible as I can from the people I work with, from the law and get closer to deciding what I want.