You’ve left university with your shiny new diploma and an unnecessary amount of photos of you smiling wearing that dorky tassel hat. You put your nose to the grind and interviewed like a total pro and scored your very first job.
The weekend before your first day you’re excited but nervous, happy but also kinda wanting to throw up. You spent hours shopping for and picking out the perfect outfit and buy a new handbag. You select the tupperware for all the delicious homemade lunches you are going to make (and silently do a little squeal that you are now the type of person that buys tupperware) and you wake up bright and early on Monday ready to take working life head on.
You head to your office expecting something from Devil Wear’s Prada, and instead you find something out of the Forty Year Old Virgin. And now you definitely feel like throwing up.
Don’t worry sisters I have been there – my first office was awful. It was out in the sticks and nowhere near a decent coffee shop. There were no windows. It was open plan with cubicle walls so high you couldn’t see any of your fellow colleagues or even send smoke signals for when the claustrophobia got too much. There was a big sales team who were on the phone constantly so talking was discouraged, and the death stare was sent straight in your direction if you even thought about taking a walk around the block to stretch your legs or leaving 5 minutes early after working through lunch.
The short version: it sucked. But after being there for over a year I came up with some ingenious tips to get through the day long enough that I didn’t want to kill myself in my ugly blue cubicle. And not be found for hours and hours because nobody could see in.
Photos, drawings, magazine cutouts, Japanese calligraphy – all are great ways to attempt to personalise your space. Not allowed to put things up? First of all poor you, you have our sympathies and second of all, invest in a digital photo frame and whack that on your desk. You’ll thank me later. I also have a lucky bamboo which adds greenery and luck and is so hardy it is almost impossible to kill.
Can’t stand deathly silence where the only company is the creepy breathing from the old guy in the cubicle next to you? Get some headphones and use them – I recommend using one of the digital radio channels or if there is a block on them (again poor you) use your phone/ipod.
3. Make a statement.
For Christmas a couple of years ago, my sister bought my a Piggy Vacuum. Oh yes it is exactly what it sounds like, a small vacuum shaped like a pig with a little on/off switch under his belly. Did it come in handy to clean up for the times I had to scoff my morning muffin at my desk? Yes! Did it start A LOT of conversations with fellow employees and important bigwigs I was trying to impress? Sure did! Choose something in line with your personality and use your space to make a statement. Although a little tip, don’t try fairy lights unless you want your desk to look like Santa’s cave. You only make that mistake once.
Combine all of these tips with a handful of inspirational quotes (or I prefer hilarious someecards completely inappropriate for the office) and you will be leaping out of bed to get to work quicker than you can say The Block.
Much love and till later