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You might be aware that today is my last day in my current role. I’ve been here for 1 1/2 years of bittersweet work, but I am incredibly excited to be joining the team at my new place of employment where I’ll be a Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator. It will definitely be a challenging role, especially since I feel a bit rusty, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do together to build awareness for the organization. Anyway, since it’s my last day here, I wanted to spend today’s Truth Thursday contemplating some lessons I’ve learned about work and life.

1. Never sacrifice your own well-being for a job for any reason – Being one who’s never had a lot of money, I’ve been well-accustomed to working multiple jobs to make ends meet. In school, for instance, I once worked three jobs while going to school full time. After school, I also had periods where I worked multiple jobs, and more recently, had days where I went straight from one job to another. Working like this can earn you more money, but I found it significantly diminished my happiness. Nothing, not even money, is a worthwhile enough reason to work yourself to death.

2. Maintain a strong work-life balance – You will hear me proclaim this a lot. I am a huge proponent of work-life balance. While I enjoy working and would work even if I didn’t need to, work-life balance is incredibly important to me as well. I find that it’s a refreshing way to enjoy more of life and still stay connected to my work, which helps me enjoy both aspects of life more thoroughly. And while I want to enjoy my career and the work that I do, it’s unrealistic to expect that my career will give me absolute happiness. Only having a life outside of work can balance out the two sufficiently.

3. Never stop trying to find a career you enjoy – Will I ever find a career that I love? Maybe, maybe not. But I do think it’s realistic to expect that I can find a career I enjoy – even if that means that I try out a few career paths before I settle into one. I haven’t become a veterinarian, an actor, a pastor, an event planner, or a PR gal, but I have taken pieces of each of those roles that I enjoy and try to incorporate those aspects into my work. It is never worthwhile to be stuck in a job that you hate or that makes you feel bad about yourself. It is worth dedicating time and effort into finding a fulfilling job you enjoy.

4. Seize smart opportunities whenever they come your way – Obviously I’m not telling you to make bad decisions, but don’t pass up exciting opportunities just because they seem a little risky. I purposely do not have a solid plan for the next five years because I don’t want to feel stuck on my own set path. I would much rather be open to anything that comes my way, and then I can decide from there if it’s a worthwhile opportunity at that time.

5. Keep your work comrades close – We spend 1/3 of our working years with our coworkers, but many of us know almost nothing about them. Studies have shown that people who have good relationships with their coworkers enjoy work more and work in a more positive environment. I myself have garnered some great relationships thanks to my work at various companies, and many times, these coworkers helped me survive. Try to build close connections with worthwhile comrades and then keep them around if you do leave the company. You won’t be sorry.

What have you learned in regards to work and life?

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