Oh, Monday. You suck. But a work-related meltdown can happen any day of the week. What do you do when you spill coffee on your silk blouse, send the wrong file to a customer, miss a deadline, and get chewed out by your boss (all in the same half-hour)? While my immediate reaction is to find the closest liquor store, I’d also like to keep my job. Momma said there’d be days like this. Here are eight ways to never let ’em see you sweat.
Get outside. If a meeting with your manager leaves you feeling worthless, exit the building. Go for a walk around the block to clear your head and breath some fresh air. Getting up to move around will help you shake it off. You don’t exactly have to leave the premises, butdo not sit in your office and sulk.
Call mom. Your mom will always have your back. When my customer just chewed me out for no apparent reason, I call mom to vent. If someone you work with is being completely ridiculous, resort to your car for a mini-break and spill to your mom, dad, or closest friend (never a fellow colleague). You can laugh about this idiot together, and then you won’t care anymore.
Starbucks. This is an obvious pick-me-up. My CEO totally laid into me once, and I was in tears before I could leave the conference room. I needed to distance myself from the situation, so a Starbucks run was the only option. By the time you’re back at your desk, PSL in hand, you feel less shitty.
Scroll your phone. I try to stay off my phone during work hours. Instagram and Snapchat can be a total productivity-suck, so I leave it in my purse. After an unsuccessful meeting or presentation, I start scrolling and engross myself in other people’s business (e.g. how is Kelly married again when she was just engaged to that guy with the three kids?). It makes me forget about my work screw up and then I can move on with the rest of my day.
Meditate. After receiving less than stellar feedback from a superior, meditation can bring you back to center. Whatever your boss, or boss’ boss said about your brief/sales pitch/whatever… it has nothing to do with who you are as a person – remember that. Deep breathing and a repetitive mantra can soothe your soul. Scribble it down in your notebook too until you believe it. Journaling is real, people, even if only for five minutes. I am smart. I am loved. I am growing and becoming better everyday. Rick is a total asshole, and I’m young and beautiful.
Pandora. One of my favorite ways to cope with a bad day at work is music. You may already listen to the radio throughout the workday, but sometimes you need to put the Beats on and blast some Alanis Morissette. Listening to another angry female will empower you to quit your cryin’ and carry on.
Lipstick. There are going to be days when nothing’s wrong, but nothing’s right. You can’t quite put your finger on why you’re unmotivated or disengaged – you’re just ill (because you’re a female). In those instances, you need to put some lipstick on, and get to work. Crush that to-do list so hard that you won’t have time to entertain any negative energy. When you know you look good, you’re taking no prisoners.
Assess the situation. The most constructive way to cope with a bad day at work is to simply assess the situation. If you receive negative feedback or make a rookie mistake, be honest and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this sucky moment in time?” Then, forgive yourself and move on. If someone else is in the wrong, forgive that person and, again, move on. At the end of the day, it’s just a job, and everyone has horrendous days that make unemployment sound real good. Hang in there. Steps 1-8, then repeat. You got this.
A former hot mess bringing you no-nonsense career advice. I've been hired, fired, demoted, and disrespected; and it was entirely my fault. I've made every possible professional mistake and want you to learn from my screw ups, so you can have the career of your freakin' dreams.