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Listen, I know what you're thinking. There's that ugly word. "Survival Job." It's dripping with the kind of self-serving arrogance that all millennials seem to bathe in. A person ought to be grateful for whatever work they can get, right? A person ought to be happy that they've got food on the table, a roof over their head, and if they're exceptionally lucky, money to save.
But here's the thing buddy, some of us just can't. You wake up on that soft pillow, you remember the feeling of panicking about money and budgeting every penny, maybe you're still doing it, but nevertheless there's that ever-present burden that weighs on you about that other precious commodity:
You're aware that it's limited—but you don't get to know how limited. You're aware that spending it on earning an income is part of life. It's just that you have this aching sensation that there's something better out there. Something you can work for.
But that thing, you're working toward—it's not just going to show up overnight. You're going to be working in that office/store/kitchen until you've figured out how to get it... so how do you survive under the fluorescent lights of hell? CHECK OUT THESE SWEET TIPS.
1) Stop panicking.
Jesus, I can smell your existential crisis from here. Cool it, dude. It's fine. No, really, it's fine. You have more time than you think you have. Yes, Becky is five years younger than you, has a college degree, perfect grades, and your dream job—but screw Becky. You're not Becky. I don't know your name, but obviously your life went a different route and you can't control where you came from. You can only control where you're going.
2) Find out if there's a position in your job that you're better suited for.
I acknowledge that this one is pretty lame, ok. But hear me out—whether you're working in an office or a kitchen, there are going to be other positions than the one you currently occupy. If yours is the most suited to your talents, go ahead and skip forward because this tip isn't for you. Otherwise, talk to your employer. Find out if there are different tasks, skills, or positions that you can learn while you occupy your time. It makes you look good, but it also breaks up that terrible, terrible monotony.
3) Get to know your coworkers.
If your job is stressing you out, chances are you're not the only one. In fact, chances are there is at least one person around you who's in a similar situation. They also got their degree in underwater basket weaving and are now stuck in a field that has nothing to do with that, but they're uncertain on how to get out. Maybe it's someone 30 years older than you who is just saving up money so that their kid can go to college. Maybe they're just an alcoholic pot-head who hates their job, like you. It'll just feel good to have a connection with someone in your environment.
4) Do some research, kid.
Have a degree, but don't know how to get a job in your field? Try a quick Google search and you'll find all kinds of stuff that may not be identical to what you dreamed of, but that'll be much closer than where you're at. Don't have a degree, but have a dream job in mind? Find out if there are online courses that you could afford to peck at the required credits. Go back to Indeed or Monster and just look at the jobs in your area and figure out: which one of these could I really see myself doing without going insane? How do I get that job?
5) Do the thing.
It's Monday night. Your boss/client/table was being an absolute ass today. Everything hurts, but it's not just a physical pain. You wish you could make money drawing or painting or acting or weaving those damn baskets but alas—it's not meant to be. You're just going to die tired and alone...
OR, you get home, you feel tired. Exhausted. Emotionally and physically... but there's that thing. That thing that 10 years ago you invested in because you still had dreams but it's laying there untouched. Are you following me? Good. Pick the thing up. No, don't look at me like that—PICK IT UP. If you want to do the thing, you have to get good at the thing. If you want to learn a new skill, I promise you that there are online resources to help you. It'll be hard. You're going to be terrible. But you've got to be bad, to get good.