This post was most recently updated on August 24th, 2023
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own]
How many hours a week do you work? Do you feel better about your job after taking weekends off?
For the past eight years, I’ve been immersed in the world of freelance translation, alongside a three-year stint in a corporate office. Following my university graduation, I embarked on a journey with a foreign company, initially as a marketing assistant and later as a dedicated personal assistant for two years. These experiences have been incredibly fulfilling, as they allowed me to not only enhance my English proficiency but also fine-tune my ability to converse fluently with individuals from diverse cultures.
Regardless of other people’s opinions, I look for a job that I like and that matches my skills. Compared to working in an office for three years, working from home allowed me to spend more time with my family, especially with my mother. While working 9-5, I’m too tired to do anything because I still have translation projects to work on after that. Sometimes, I also work on the weekend to translate a novel at that time. I was so focused on my job that I didn’t make myself a priority.
After quitting my office job, I decided to start a blog and get serious about it. Although my parents initially disagreed when I also worked as a freelance translator, I proved to them that after working as a freelancer and blogger, I cover all my daily/weekly/monthly expenses and even take care of the household expenses too. I even took my mother shopping more often compared to my three years working as office staff.
Despite COVID-19 in early 2020, I am proud of myself because I can still generate a stable income from working two jobs. Having two jobs is hard, but I really enjoy them because they are my passion. Work can be demanding. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean you are powerless.
Here are some tips to help you feel better about your job.
Organize your workspace and workload
I’m obsessed with stationery and planners. Every time I get my paycheck, I like to spend time looking at the new stationery in the online shop and some organizers to organize things at home. Although there are many digital tools that could help, I prefer to write by hand rather than typing them down. Because it makes it easier for me to remember something than typing it on a laptop/iPad/phone.
With fast-changing priorities, it’s important to determine what’s truly important and why. Organizing and prioritizing tasks on a weekly basis allows you to break your work into small, achievable steps. If you have unpleasant tasks to do, get them over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result. Doing something as simple as cleaning your desk before working can clear your mind and make you feel better about your job.
Humans are social creatures, and any job endured in isolation is bound to become intolerable. I’m not sure how to say this. But as an introvert, I don’t have many close friends. I do maintain some friendships, though there’s a particular friend I reconnect with periodically. Our friendship dates back to our college days in 2013, and presently, we manage to catch up around 3–4 times each month.
Recently, she’s ventured into the freelance world, and I find myself in a position to offer assistance and encouragement. Our favorite meeting spot is a cozy coffee shop, where we spend hours working side by side. It’s refreshing to find someone who shares my perspectives, making conversations with her truly reassuring. In fact, she’s the sole confidante with whom I openly discuss my experiences as a blogger.
Engaging with the blogging community has also led me to forge connections with fellow bloggers. These virtual friends have proven to be a valuable source of learning and growth, for which I am sincerely thankful. Initially, I must admit, I felt a hint of uncertainty about diving into the blogging community. There seemed to be a multitude of bloggers thriving with remarkable engagement, and being more of an observer than a constant conversationalist or social media enthusiast, I questioned my fit within such an active space.
There are some bloggers that I think are also aligned with myself and that has made me more comfortable and confident as well over the last year. However, no matter how strange your co-workers may seem, you should align yourself with one or two of them. You may just make friendships that will last a lifetime.
Say ‘no’ when you have to
How often do you say “no”?
It’s important to manage the expectations of people around you and not take on more than you can handle. By taking too much, you could end up burning out yourself and doing nothing well. Simply “saying no” to tasks that are not your priority means you save yourself from depression and reduce your stress levels. The important thing is that you are not doing everything at once.
Develop a better work routine
Perfectionists strive to do well and eventually, this leads to exhaustion or sometimes depression. If you’re a perfectionist, you must set limits at your job to take care of your mind, body, and soul. You should take a break after hours of working, and avoid thinking about work; instead, read a book, talk with friends, and relax with a soothing beverage.
Do more on the weekends
Weekends mean self-care! Unlike workdays, the weekends are a time of freedom, and you must take full advantage of your precious free time. When you are away from work, you have the opportunity to do activities you most love like shop, visit nearby book stores, hike, cook, or whatever makes your soul happy. Though you may be mentally tired after working a job that doesn’t define you, what you do during your free time might, so you should make the most of the weekends.
Most of us are not happy at work. We go through trials and metamorphoses on our way to achieving joy in our work lives. And realizing a particular job is not for us is part of discovering what makes us happy. If you’re willing to reach out of your comfort zone for a while, you’ll find your way into more fulfilling work.
So, what makes you feel better about your job? Let me know your story below.