How to Enjoy Work


Photo from Unsplash by Lauren Mancke

I think it's important to find work that you enjoy, even if it doesn't pay as much as you like. Obviously it's important to earn enough to live independently and have enough, but studies have shown that there's a certain income that once you exceed it, your emotional happiness doesn't get any better.

Personally I've found that you need to enjoy work and like who you're working for. I've had jobs where I disliked my supervisor. I disagreed with how they treated and managed their employees, and not just me. I also disagreed ethically with them and felt that while not breaking the rules, they were bending them.

As a result, I disliked them and working with them. It made it hard to go to work each day and a relief to go home each night. I was living for the weekend or the time when I could quit.

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article about how Americans don't value flextime at work enough. I read it and completely agreed with it. The jobs I've loved have been the ones where I've felt valued, had a good company culture, had respect, and where I've been able to work from home or switch my hours around to accomplish the same amount of work, just in different hours.

My skills can be done from anywhere with a computer and internet so it can be frustrating when forced to work from an office within office hours all the time. When I had the flu and no sick-time, I wanted to work from home, but it was work at the office or don't work at all. So I worked from the office.

Flex-time and an enjoyable work environment are more important to me than a higher salary. I'd thought up until recently that it's okay to hate your job, it's a job. You just need to do it and do it well and you can do what you want after work and on the weekends. But that's not a great way to live. It makes you dread work, which is a large chunk of your life.

And it's important to have some passion for what you're doing. I haven't found my passion I don't think-unless it's blogging or hiking. I've worked in some pretty boring industries but loved it because I loved what I was doing and who I was working with. So while passion can make a difference, it hasn't yet for me. I haven't had a job I was passionate about, hopefully I'll find one at some point, but for now, I'm going for happy and content.

So as I look for jobs in the future, I'm going to look for ones with a good environment and with flexible work hours. Hopefully I'll be able to find something that is enjoyable and fits those criteria.

Do you have any advice for to finding a good place to work?

Dealing with a Long Commute

Northwest Pearls: Dealing with a Long Commute Before this year, I had never taken the bus. But when I got an internship that's fifty miles from home, I started to take the bus. Who wants to put 100 miles on their car everyday?

Between my front door and my desk it was about a two hour commute. On a good day it's as little as an hour and forty minutes. On a bad day it could be three hours. (Once it was three hours and ten minutes one way.)

Needless to say, I did a ton of reading.

I kept my phone and Kindle charged so that I could use them on the bus. I went to bed early so I could wake up at 4am to catch an early bus so I could leave work early and get home at a decent hour. It was quite the adjustment. I spend four hours of my day, five days per week, commuting.

Once I got used to my new way of life, it wasn't so bad. I would get home, eat, work-out, shower, and get a thing or two done before bed. Then repeat the next day.

I can't complain about my commute too much though. Some people have been doing it for years. But my Kindle has been a lifesaver since I started. Sadly the Kindle I have had since high-school graduation broke. So, after a little mourning because I liked it so much, I ordered a new one.

It's nice but I don't like it as much. I wish they had page-turning buttons on it like my old one. I don't like the touchscreen for a few reasons, one being that if I rest the Kindle on me while I'm rummaging through my bag on the bus, the pages may turn.

But enough about the Kindle.

Dealing with a long commute is tough, and I no longer have any pity for anyone whose commute in an hour or less. (One of my coworkers once complained that it took 20 minutes to get to work. Then he asked me about my commute.) But liking my internship paid a huge role in my commute. While it's not fun to spend 20 hours a week commuting, at least I liked my work and who I was working with. That made a huge difference.

And hey, if you're dealing with a long commute, just try to focus on the happy things, read a lot, bring your chargers with you, and try to get some rest. And while it may be bad at first, I can say that I got used to my commute pretty fast. Yes, I was happy when it ended, but I didn't hate it like I had at the beginning.

Do you have any advice for a long commute?

Dressing for Work

I've slowly been accumulating the dressy work clothes needed for an office. It took me a while to find a collared blouse that I liked, but I found the most amazing one at The Loft. (They have really great sales fairly often, so signing up for their email list is a good way to get info about those.) This shirt is amazing. I have it in three colors. I've worn it in numerous blog posts such as herehere, and here.

Plaid Skirt for Work

I'm such as fan of full skirts and midi skirts. They work for work, and they're comfortable! Here's a cute one that would be appropriate for work! I'm wearing a full midi skirt in the picture below.

Black and Grey

And trouser pants. Those are a must. Again, The Loft has quite a few pairs. Really quite a bit of my things come from The Loft.

And a blazer is a must have, even if you don't wear it everyday, you should have at least one in your closet, preferable two or three. I've got two from The Loft that I love. Here's a similar one to one of mine that you can see me wearing below.

Interview Time

Finally, a nice pair of comfortable, sensible shoes. Flats will usually work, nice boots will sometimes work, and a pair of black or nude heels will always work. I've been raving about this pair of heels for years. They're amazing. I don't even want to know how many times I've worn them. Here's a picture of me in them for Halloween last year.

What are some of your work essentials?

The Trouser Pant

I am in love with this maroon shirt I got from the Loft. It's comfy and so flattering, especially when paired with the right pants. Excuse the wrinkles, this picture doesn't do it justice. It took me a while to find a button-up shirt I like, and I ended up with this shirt in three colors. And having the perfect pair of pants doesn't hurt either. The Trouser Pant

Shirt: The Loft

Pants: Old, Similar here

Shoes: Old, Similar here


Striped Fit and Flare

My favorite style of dress is probably the fit and flare. I got this dress for my college graduation, but it's a work appropriate dress too! I've just added a sweater, some tights, and voila! Striped Fit and Flare

Striped Fit and Flare

Sweater: Loft

Dress: Nordstrom (Similar here)

Belt: Nordstrom-Came with the dress

Shoes: Nordstrom