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New Job troubles

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Springler, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Springler

    Springler Guest

    No, that isn't a biblical reference, but I accidentally capitalized the J and decided to keep it that way. In any case, when you moved on to your first job out of college, many of you probably went through some struggles in terms of adjusting to the place, the hours of work, etc. What did you do to eliminate the volatility that might have come in the first couple months? I've tried various things, but crap has just spiraled out of control to the tune of consuming close to a 12-pack of caffeinated soda per day, binging on lots of things - mostly food, though -, diving into habits you know are bad but are easily available, loss of natural drive...all outside work, but still. A bad outside life eventually will leak into the newsroom, and even if job performance pales in comparison to feeling totally depressed, none of it is good. Maybe not a cry for help, but call it at least a query.
  2. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    First, are you happy with what you're doing? I worked for four months at my first job before I realized that I wanted to do something else (still in newspapers, but in a different capacity). Second, how far are you from home? My first job was about 700 miles from home, and I had difficulty defining myself away from work without my family. I left that job for a different one, which also brought me a couple hours closer to home (within a day's drive), and the combination of the two really made a difference in how I felt and how I saw myself. The second problem (defining myself as an individual outside of work) was probably the biggest hurdle for me. I think the best thing you can do is to make friends outside of work. Don't totally abandon your co-workers once you leave the office, but you need to be able to socialize with people who don't constantly remind you of your job.
  3. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    I was in a similar situation my first year out of school - new job, 2,000 miles away from home, not knowing anyone, new work hours, trying to deal with a mix of personalities on the job, a strange sense of ample freedom ...

    One thing to do is create a daily routine for yourself, rather than wondering, what the hell am I going to do with all this time?

    My hours were 2:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., so I woke up at the same time every day, went and worked out, came back and made lunch, watched some TV or surfed the Internet at home and then got ready for work. After work, I'd get home and anticipated watching Craig Kilborn (ok, so this was a few years ago) on TV, then wound down for the night.

    Outside of work was tougher because I had no social circle - my social circle was still 2,000 miles away so I had massive phone bills (this was before the cell phone boom). If you're homesick, then admit it to yourself but don't let it overwhelm you. Also, if you have a couple coworkers around your age (and I did), network through them. I made a point to meet some of their non-work friends if we were all at a party or a barbecue or a beach trip.

    Also, on a side note, at work, go for water instead of soda. :)
  4. Kaylee

    Kaylee Member

    I'll echo that.

    The best way to sidestep burnout is to sidestep things that will needlessly remind you of why you're burning out.

    I've worked with some great guys. But I've typically spent my free days with my away-from-work friends. There have been one or two exceptions of people who are great at work and away from work, but typically, I try to establish a separate life.

    There's a downside, of course. Sports departments, sometimes, can be painfully clique-y. As nice as I try to be to folks, I have sometimes paid a price for not jumping in on the office in-jokes, going to so-and-so's house to watch the game or wasting my time on a golf course. I'll do that stuff occasionally, but not always enough to satisfy certain people I've dealt with during my career.

    But I value my privacy and my pursuit of discovering my inner self, and I've found when I stick to those principles, I have more zest for the job.

    That may not work where you are. I don't know your situation. But there are things you can do on your own. Join a gym. Force yourself to wake up early. Adopt a hobby. Expand your tastes in music, books, movies. Anything to make you feel more like a person and less like a drone.

    Another great piece of advice I stole from a former SE: No matter what the hour, do not go straight to bed when you get home. Stay up and do something, even if it's just for fifteen minutes or so. Read, play a video game, whatever. When you go to bed with a rinsed palate, you wake up in a better mindset.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Most of my close friends in this business are from my first full-time job, so these are friendships going back more than a quarter-century. I found in subsequent stops that I've averaged one longterm close friend per job. Which is enough. How many people do I really want as a close friend? It's different when you're 21 and you can go out drinking every night. When you get older, for many reasons it's hard to have your social life revolve around coworkers. Still, I would not trade that time in my life for ... many things. I remember thinking at the time, shit, this is better than college. So I quit college.
  6. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    exercise and eat well.

    find the poker game - every newsroom has one.

    hit on a cute news editor or reporter.

    do brilliant work and plan your ascent.

    what's to be depressed about - you're young, employed and quite a good writer, judging from your post. you are blessed - enjoy it.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I wonder how much of this is your job. My first job out of school, I realized the first week that I hated it. I kept on saying, "Wicked, cheer up. Maybe it's just your attitude." It took me six months to realize that I never was going to be happy there, and I finally quit and landed a job I like hella better.

    I'm not saying you can't be depressed due to non-work factors, but where we work does play a big part of who we are and our personalities.
  8. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    A good thought, but it isn't the same. Water is in no way a substitute for soda to soda-drinkers.
  9. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Try seltzer.
  10. I've gone a week without soda after being a two-a-day guy, and that's the damned truth.
  11. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    Two a day? That's amateur stuff. I was up -- easily -- to 6-8 sodas a day. Pepsi. Diet wasn't an option. At one point during my brief stint in college, I actually would drink 12 sodas a day. I would wake up in the middle of the night, chug a Pepsi in like two minutes and go back to sleep.

    About a year and a half ago, I switched to caffeine-free diet coke. Switching to water ain't happening. I've got a friend who's in med school, and she's always telling me I should drink more water. The fact that I got to caffeine-free diet coke would amaze most people who worked with me.
  12. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    Try water with a lemon slice in it. Or seltzer with lemon and lime.
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