Truth hurts but it is what it is, we can’t afford to be choosy over the job we are handed to anymore, especially with what it seems like a never-ending pandemic. More than ever now, people are scared to leave their jobs no matter how toxic the working environment could get. Plus, the unemployment rate today is really giving us major heart attacks.
News flash! Our economic recession during Covid-19 is the worst in Malaysia’s history as reported by The Star. Did you hear that? Oh, it’s just the sound of our hearts breaking into a gazillion pieces.
As if climate change, low minimum wage, lousy housing affordability (or affordability of anything really), a pandemic and a spike in mental health issues aren't enough, we have to deal with society who are really out to give us a hard time from 9am to 5pm daily.
Dear god why weren’t we born as cats instead, all they do is sleep around, clean their furs and yell for food. Cats really are living the luxe life.
Any-hoo! If you live in a dystopia where you have the golden trio of amazing bosses, excellent wage and supportive colleagues please leave the chat, this article is solely for those struggling to keep it together at their workplace. We see you and we’re here for you. Your sanity in this war zone is the one thing that you need to guard in order to be invincible.
You are not your job. Repeat that phrase over and over until it becomes a daily mantra for your soul.
Oftentimes we get caught up in delivering the best performance and efficiency that the second we find ourselves not being competent enough we decide that our life is in shambles and we are useless. Productivity is never constant. You are not a machine that could stamp out brilliant ideas every day without fail.
Don’t beat yourself up if your new colleague is climbing up that promotion ladder a lot faster than you or if your new campaign is not getting the praises it did the last time. It is very damaging to link your worth to your job. You are a human being capable of wonders and you shouldn’t limit your success to whatever you achieve at work only.
It’s easy to get caught up in long hours and before you realise it, you’ve been glued to your chair for the whole day without any breaks. We know that competition is high, and you might encounter annoying co-workers that pride themselves in skipping lunch and breaks because they are sooo committed to their work.
So, you start to think oh if they could do it so can I. Well... for one, you only know a fragment of what they choose to show you so who knows, maybe the repercussions for their “committed” work is a strained relationship with their family due to working long hours or generally poor health. So always know when to take a breather and step back from the screen. For some, it might be a walk to the pantry to make coffee or tea, others would be having a quick chat with the co-workers. The key is to move and escape the pile of work for a bit.
“Eh did you know the boss wants to fire Uzair? I saw HR drafting the letter you know the other day...”. Says the Kaki Gossip at work.
Maybe it looks harmless to join the chit chat, but you never know their true intentions, they might want you to engage so they could one day use your words against you. So, steer away from potential problems.
You know the drill, just respond with a quick “Oh ya ke...” and walk away.
The quickest way to pollute your work environment is by creating dissonance with your teammates. Chatter is merely chatter, don’t take things at face value. Engaging or worst, believing in mindless gossip about a co-worker will lead you to create assumptions about a person without actually knowing them through and through.
Your friends and family could offer you many advices but when it comes to work many of them are quite conflicting. Take making friends at work for example, do you keep it strictly business or get friendly?
Our advice? You know your colleagues better. If you have been officemates long enough to judge their true character, then go ahead make friends (by making sure it’s a drama-free friendship of cozz)
However not everyone at work is your friend, establishing the boundaries of the people you allow in your personal space will help you guard your sanctuary when you get off from work. You don’t want to mix both worlds together to a point that you can’t escape one to go to the other.
This should also apply to working hours too. If you’re on your leave, leave your work at the office. Don’t mix the weekends with work, you’d be surprised at how easy you’d be burnout if you can’t separate the two.
Invest in your “Me Time” with full commitment, that’s how you get energised for the new week. But be sure to finish all your work before you head for the weekends. If your colleagues are buzzing you for a presentation that is due on Monday morning, then respond laah… don’t burden other people.
So, it’s 9am, you’re logging in to your email, there it is, the first assignment of the day. A little later, your boss requested you to pitch in for ideas for a meeting with the new client. So, you leave the work at hand to tend to the discussion. A tad bit later, your phone buzzes, it’s your client requesting new mechanics for the launch. Here comes Priya from Finance chiming in to remind you to prepare that itinerary for this weekend’s team building together with all the requisition forms. Then HR emailed you because you forgot to submit your MC and everything just spirals out of control... what..on..earth…do you..do…first???
Sounds familiar? This is where you have to practise the art of compartmentalizing. Whenever you get an assignment, always respond with.
“Sorry, I’m working on <your work> at the moment. When do you need this?’ instead of saying “Okay, noted, will do” to everything.
This way, they who requested the assignment will be made aware of what's on your plate and you will be able to manage their expectations. Right before you switch off your computer, finalise your to-do list so you would be able to plan out your day tomorrow.
Hang in there buddy, work can get insane in the brain, but crazy that you can escape. It's crazy that you can pack up and leave at 5pm and rest at home. Don’t torture yourself by bringing that negative energy into your house. When you can’t have the best of both worlds, do protect the peace and sanity of the world that you can control.
You’ll get the hang of it soon! And if you need reassurance, watch this episode of Hello I Have Issues: Worklife Balance with hosts, Zher and Keanu together with the co-founders of Colony Coworking Space, Timothy Tiah and Audrey Ooi to break the cycle of burnout.