The pay is good, your title is fancy, you will actually be using your college degree, and there are endless free lattes and bean bag chairs on every floor. Kudos to you for landing your dream job! Hopefully, when you received your offer, you took a little bit of time to consider whether or not your job is actually good for your health.
Here are five (5) ways you can tell if your job is a good fit for your health and well-being.
1) The office actually has a mother’s room or sick. Sincerest apologies to anyone who is currently nursing. But I am a strong advocate for multi-purpose “mother’s rooms” and sick rooms in the office. Sometimes, you have to remove the computer screen completely from your sight. With some disinfectant wipes and good timing (sick and/or nursing folks take priority of course), you’ve got yourself the perfect private spot for a your afternoon 5-minute meditation.
2) Healthy food options are within walking distance. Unlimited access to fresh drinking water is important to have in any work setting, and so is, to some extent, having convenient access to healthy food options while at work. Most responsible adults will pack a lunch from home on a regular day, but wouldn’t it be a nice thing on a rough or busy day (or even a really good day) to treat yourself to a fruit smoothie or a big fancy Instagram salad? Invigorating.
3) You learn something new every once in a while. Even the most glamorous of jobs start to feel as you’re working on an assembly line at times. A career in hair and makeup styling is highly coveted and is likely a lot of fun. But can you imagine re-creating the same trendy hairstyle all day, every day? One thing that helps stylists and barbers get through their day is having genuine conversations with clients as they work. A barber can give 10 identical caesar fades but has the potential to learn about 10 new Netflix documentaries to watch just from striking up a conversation. That would certainly give me a little more incentive to come into work on a Monday. I call that turning lemons into naturally flavored Italian ice.
4) Your supervisor is aware of the challenges of your job and makes it known. There is nothing quite like working under a manager who “gets it”. There may not be a lot that you can do to make the nature of your job less high stress, but knowing that your boss sees you and sees how what you endure on a daily basis can make you feel a little less unhinged.
5) At least one of your personal strengths is able to shine through at work. According to the World Health Organization, having something productive to get up and do on a regular basis is good for one’s mental health and well-being. WHO also states that a healthy work environment includes career development opportunities as well as giving employees a sense “control and participation”. One way in which a worker can feel in control and like they are making a contribution is by having their strengths identified, utilized, and for the contribution to be recognized.
Jiell Richardson is a web designer/developer, fat yogi padawan, and blogger based in Washington, DC, USA.