“MOTIV8 Yourself Into A Healthy Mental Space”
I’m still geeking over the fact that I managed to purchase J. Cole tickets and will be seeing him live in September, hence the title beginning with “Motiv8….” However, this is NOT a post about Jermaine (although, it could easily turn in this direction), this post is about self-preservation in the work space.
“Take your PTO!! Take all of it! Call off when you need to! Always be on the lookout for better jobs!! These jobs have no problem giving you the pink slip on a random Tuesday! Folks legit be feeling bad or weird taking sick or vacation days…. The best time to get a better job is when you already have a job!…please don’t let a job take away your sanity. These companies will fire you in a heartbeat with no warning and have a replacement at your desk if you should drop dead. LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF!!”- Brooke Ashley @TheBrookAsh on twitter.
Now, I had to include this thread because, when I tell you a chorus of angels were singing over me as I was reading this gem of a Retweet … just believe me when I say that I had to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!!!! Reality is many of us will work a job in our twenties, and while some may be our career choice if we aren’t careful, the demands can and will break us down.
Which is why, saints self-preservation is key! It’s an absolute must… you, I, we and us must take care of ourselves. Like my dear sister said “take your PTO”…”Look out for yourself” and do what you must to show up everyday, not for the check but because YOU have something to offer that environment.
The ways in which I have been exercising my self-preservation…
- Taking care of myself once I clock out
Here’s the thing as a journalist at a small press, technically there is no such thing as “time off”. However, the devil is a complete liar and the truth is not in him… meaning that I force myself to have “time off” and protect it with my life.
My list of “Don’t’s”and one “Do”:
- I do not take work calls after I’ve clocked out (I’m still working on not responding to all of my text messages).
- I do not have my work email synced to my iPhone (we are NOT playing that.) This is not a “call me, beep me, if you want to reach me type of ordeal” NO, NO. This is a please utilize my personal gmail account, if it’s urgent. As for the multitude that doesn’t have access to this account, please sit tight and hold the tea until 8:30 AM-(which is when my “open for business” sign goes up! Not a second before, unless it’s BREAKING NEWS.. and more often than not it never is.)
- I do what I WANT when I clock out… spending 8-12 hours a day managing obligations, I tend to use the remainder of my day as I see best fit (which changes everyday).
2. Engage in work relationships that lighten the load:
As a minority in an predominantly-white (aka… completely white minus one other person) work environment as well as the youngest employee on board it has been in my absolute BEST interest to reach out and make acquaintances where and when I can. Not everything is racial, but it does help to have a sense of camaraderie. One relationship, that quickly comes to mind is the one I have with an established black businessman. He’s a deputy of the city (so you know he’s about that professional life). However, in meetings it brings me SO much relief to see him on the panel, because not only do we understand the burden of maneuvering through a PWI space, but we can salute each other’s journey!
I also have another relationship that I’ve been cultivating that relieves me of my “this work… I’m doing is draining, I must find my purpose” type of stress. Someone who is where I’d like to be career-wise and has successfully made the needed transitions to bring such into fruition.
Again, these people are intricate in my path to self-preservation, and for the following reasons:
- They’re both close enough to grasps my stress in a empathetic manner but are distant enough to excuse themselves of any potential conflict of interest… VERY KEY!
- They’re safe spaces for me to “vent” without damaging my rapport or even losing my sense of gratitude and trust me a sense of gratitude is MAJOR. It’s how we show the universe that we desire abundance, by thanking God for what we have.
- Most importantly, keep your life fluid and continuously strive to work from a mental space that prioritizes your sanity.
Prime example here, I use to show up to work between 6:15-6:30 AM every morning when I wasn’t expected to clock in until 7:30 AM.
AN ENTIRE HOUR EARLY FOR WHAT??????
Some mornings my workload would warrant some extra attention, but 9 x out of 10 I was doing that to prove my diligence. The UGLY truth is that no cared and while I was instilling good work ethic in myself, there are many days that I could’ve showed up at 7:15 AM and I would’ve been just fine.
My point is this, you are your biggest project, your most significant career choice will be the choices you make when it comes to sustaining yourself (those hard decisions that you’ll make to protect your own growth).
My hope is that whoever reads this will be inspired to seek out balance. In a world that is full of demands, Lord knows we need a re-set button sometimes. Which leads me to my second hope, which is that you’ll be brave enough to TAKE that re-set button (by any means, if it comes to it). That you won’t overwork yourself to prove any points but that you’ll consider what truly matter.
That you’ll prioritize cultivating your mental, spiritual and emotional health above all else, because these are the true riches in life and honestly some (i’m talking about that spirit now!) will be the only tangibles we’ll have beyond this lifetime.
Motiv8 yourself beyond your checking account.