Anyone who has a 9-5 will tell you that the worst part about a 9-5 is that you work 9-5. I often find myself daydreaming about the huge list of things I would rather be doing with my time or could actually be doing with my time, other than being stuck at work. It can be hard to make the most of your desk job, especially if it’s not your dream job.
Now I want to get one thing straight before anyone can tell me how ungrateful my generation is because we aren’t appreciative of our jobs: I am grateful to have a job. My job allows me to pay my bills, puts a roof over my head, etc. I love my job but I am not in love with my job. Therein lies the rub. You wouldn’t tell me, or any 20-something, to settle for a guy we don’t deserve so why are people so content with telling us that it’s okay to settle for work?
I’ve written before about how stuck this job has made me feel. So how do I get myself out of bed and to work everyday? Here’s my advice on how to make the most of your desk job:
Treat It Like Your Dream Job
Easier said than done, I know, but what’s the harm in trying, right? One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received came from one of my nearly lifelong friends. Fake it until you make it. Put maximum effort into your hair, makeup, and wardrobe in the morning. Dress like the lady boss you want to be. Not only will this make fantastic first impressions, it will slowly make you more confident too, allowing you to take chances on new job opportunities or whatever your heart desires. Treat your work like it’s your dream work too. You want to impress people with your diligence, attention to detail, hard work, etc. Think about what the people at your current office would say to a future employer who calls about a reference or what they’ll say when they leave. You never know when you might need one of them so focus on making everything you can the best it can be.
[bctt tweet=”Fake it until you make it… at the office!”]
Take Advantage of your 5-9
Side hustle anyone? In my 5-9 not only do I have a social life every once and a while (and by social life I mean getting subway for dinner on post with JP) but I also run this blog, work on my other writing, and run a Chloe and Isabel boutique. Talk about some major 5-9 action. I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t exhausted right now after three days of writing blog posts, a day of meetings, and dinner with JP. But what are you actually doing with your 5-9 if you’re not doing something constructive? Believe me, I know better than most how much you just want to curl up in a ball on the couch and be dead to the world after work. But I tried that once (during my DC internship after college) and it didn’t work well. I was depressed and when I wasn’t sleeping or eating I was shopping. Not good. My advice? Find a hobby you love and dedicate some or all of your 5-9 to it. Or find a cute guy *wink, wink*
[bctt tweet=”Not working your dream job, yet? Make the most of your 5-9!”]
Network, Network, Network
Networking is so important and I cannot stress it enough how much you can benefit from it. I’ve had multiple people who have met me over the course of my internship tell me about positions that are opening up. Networking can be a huge boost to you professionally. If you’re memorable for all of the right reasons, people will naturally think of you. Make the most of your desk job by networking with people you see on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there (in a professional manner, of course). You never know when someone might hear about your dream job opening up. Networking can be super fun too! Try connecting with your local alumni chapter or find networking events for areas that interest you.
[bctt tweet=”Making sure your networking game is strong can boost your professional life!”]
Focus on the Big Picture
You will not be working this job forever. Eventually you will move on to something better but until then, make the most of it. Make the most of your desk job by learning as much as you can and working that 5-9 as much as you can! The big picture doesn’t just mean talking about the future. A good job means happy hours with friends, a nice apartment, health insurance, etc. We often take stuff like this for granted (um, guilty) but the truth is, there are some people who work harder for much less. Be proud of your accomplishments and be grateful for the experience you’re gaining. Your current job is just a stop along the way to the destination that is your dream job.
[bctt tweet=”Good things come to those who hustle.”]
How do you make the most of your desk job? What do you do to maximize your 9-5? I would love to hear from you below in the comments or on social media! Don’t forget to subscribe for extra goodies (and freebies) delivered right to your inbox every Sunday morning!