10 Ways to Survive Your First 9 to 5 [Tricks & Tips] — 2022

Written by Bolivar T. Caceres

A new career can be terrifying, especially when starting one’s first full-time employment. Second thoughts, overthinking one’s weaknesses, and the dubiety about success can be stifling. It can limit progress, cause stress, and lead to illnesses. Furthermore, one can feel apprehension and clam up with the idea of “lost time,” time one once had to ideal about, now limited to a few precious hours to do nothing except rest. What can one do to overcome these obstacles so one’s new career is not an irritant but a joy?

1. Make friends with your co-workers.

Connecting with one’s co-workers comes with many benefits. First, this connection can turn a dreadful environment into a haven for productivity and positivity. Second, co-workers are a great source of information; they know the ropes and are often happy to help the newcomer fit in. Third, co-workers offer a new perspective on the work environment and life. Last, these connections can foster life-long relationships. One can never know what will happen when making an honest connection. So, don’t be afraid to say, “Hello,” and ask, “How are you doing?”

2. Ask questions — there are no stupid questions.

With point one, ask your co-workers, managers, supervisors — whoever would listen and help — questions. Indeed, there are no stupid questions. One who is starting a new employment doesn’t know everything, and orientation often doesn’t cover the nuisances of the day-to-day; there are often edge cases that aren’t reviewed. So, ask questions until you know, and when you understand, make sure to ask more questions. You never know how your question can help someone too shy to speak.

3. Take regular breaks.

The 9–5 work day can feel long and tiring. It is stressful, and for the newly employed, it can be draining. So, take regular breaks and experience some fresh air. A 10-minute break can do one a world of good to clear the mind and reflect on the last hours of work.

4. Eat snacks and stay hydrated

Keeping one energy at its height is essential to a productive and positive day. “Eating food, especially a balanced diet — grains, cereals, fruits, greens, beans, dairy products, etc. — provides one with sharper faculties and can even enhance the lucidity of dreams.” So, make sure to keep snacks and water nearby!

5. Don’t bring work home

Unless one’s employer is paying overtime, don’t bring work home. Even then, don’t bring work home. Leave the office work at the office. This maxim encompasses both the physical and mental bringing of work home. It can be easy to go home worried and stressed when one first starts a new employment, analyzing one’s day for what went wrong and right. There is no need for this mental strain; it’s not healthy and it’s unproductive. Also, bringing work home takes away from the limited time one may have during the week. Make it a hard-and-fast rule: don’t bring work home.

6. Plan time for oneself

Outside of work, one may have a family, school, or several other obligations. Regardless, schedule time for yourself to rest. Take a nap, watch a movie, read a good book; whatever relaxes you, do it. They’ll be no regrets later.

7. Keep hobbies alive

In tandem with planning time for oneself, one should keep hobbies alive. It is easy to fall into the dreadful routine of working, eating, resting, and working. Break this monotony with hobbies.

8. Remember the reason for the job

In a rush from interview to full-time employee, it’s easy to forget why one took the job in the first place. As months turn to years, the recollection of the motivation for the job will dwindle further. So, it’s important to remember the reason for the job. The best ways are to make a vision board, a goal sheet, or anything that can be a frequent reminder for the journey.

9. Take the initiative

There is no hiding that a new job is challenging and terrifying for some. One way to combat this is to dive right in. Take the initiative, own the most complex case, and ask the most questions. Learn about the job, and success will be imminent.

10. Save money

Save money for a rainy day, a vacation, a goal, or whatever. Also, if one’s company offers a 401K, take advantage of it. Save and invest for tomorrow. I dare you!

Bolivar T. Caceres is a Bronx-based artist and writer. His poems appear on ShortEdition and Ariel Chart. He is also the author of the chapbook Outside My Garret Window published in 2020. He currently curates and writes for the quarterly film blog, Film Studies 401. Connect with him on social media @BolivarTCaceres and at www.BtcArt.co.

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Surviving 9 to 5

Surviving 9 to 5

Tricks and Tips For A Good Work-Life Balance