Being a student and working full-time are 2 completely different stories. As a student, you are relaxed, enjoying life and have less worries than you would think. Exams? bah – they are easy compared to what you have to do after you start working! Now that I have been working for almost 2 years, I can confidently say that I have grown up and learnt a few tricks to keep the morale high. It is challenging, especially if you have this story of butterflies and rainbows in your head – which I did. Working often leads to the split personality phenomenon, something I experienced and have mastered over the past 21 months.
What is this phenomenon, you ask – well here are the basics:
Being a graduate, you are cheerful, enthusiastic and motivated for most of the time, however once you start working, you’ll realize that it is not all about chasing rainbows and butterflies in the park. You may be impeccably dressed, productive and efficient at work – blasting ideas left, right and center – there is a time when you will have to switch off your personality. That’s where the grumpy personality comes in!
Recent Graduate turned Grumpy Dwarf
Once you leave the office and drive off, that is when the nagging grumpy dwarf personality comes bursting from the corner of your brain that it was previously shoved into. Personally, it was this time when I started feeling feeling drained and exhausted. I used to get home and the last thing on my mind was talking. It is a tough feeling to describe but if you felt this way, trust me, you’re not alone. It has been reported that on average, more than half of the graduates are not prepared for this activity – the activity of being “switched-on” for 9-10 hours a day.
Despite being this way for months, this problem was bought to my attention when my sister told me that I am “no fun” anymore. This translated into “you have become boring, sort yourself out”. The fact is, after work I tried to cancel all plans with my friends and family, wanting to crawl into bed and watch an episode of Friends while I fall asleep. This is not what life is about and that is definitely not why I was working. I was happy in my job because I loved it, but I was loosing the focus on the bigger picture.
Grumpy Aside, Life is Good…
To solve my weird split personality, I started observing other people who work and understand their perspective on life. I needed inspiration that we don’t just work on Monday to go home to prepare to come to work on Tuesday. We work on Monday to go home and have a good rest of the day – obtain job satisfaction, progress in life, enjoy the money we make, experience new places, meet new people and essentially enjoy every moment.
Super Woman by Day… and Night?
Once I realized that I had to make amends and modify the way I was making use of the hours out of work, it was pretty obvious what the action plan was. Here is how I got over my 8-5 job and began feeling like super woman 24.7:
- Have plans after work – at least 2-3 times a day
- Exercise – whether it is hitting the gym or going for a run
- Explore – have options open and enjoy myself
By having your evenings planned, you have something to look forward to after work rather than dwell upon the office stress of the day. Balance. That is what is needed in life. By balancing your days with friends and family, with a few good relaxing “me-time” evenings planned as well, you can experience the best of both worlds.
Grumpy has officially been let go, instead replaced by Happy, Excited and Relaxed (I know they were not one of the 7 dwarfs, but you get my point). If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by work and letting your inner Grumpy get the best of you , it is important to take a step back, gain perspective and then move two steps forward! It is definitely possible to be Super Woman by day and night and only you can make it happen.