How to Survive an Office Job

via collectiveevolution

By Pauline Ybañez

Clerical work is typically the most common job for recent grads. This entails sitting at a desk or cubicle for hours on end staring at a screen. Working a desk job means that everything becomes a routine and sooner or later that routine can start to bore you and put you to sleep. However, there are ways to stay awake and prevent sleepiness and boredom. Here are some tips that help me get through the daily grind of the 9 – 5!


Wake up and Shower

Wake up any where from an hour to an hour and a half earlier to add a shower to your daily routine. Though it’s definitely going to suck for the people who have that long commute, I advise everyone tries to add waking up early and showering to their mornings even if its just a couple of times a week. It will truly do wonders if you don’t do it already. Even if you just stand in the shower and let the hot water hit your body, you will come out of the shower feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. 


If you’re like me and not a morning person, caffeine might just become your new best friend. Whether it be in the form of coffee, energy drinks or tea, these caffeinated drinks can help you stay awake and alert during work.

SIDE TIP: My go-to drink is coffee. Whatever your drink of choice is, just be careful not to get addicted. I try to only drink coffee on the days where I’m feeling really drowsy. I don’t want to be throwing my money to Dunkin Donuts five days a week and neither should you.

via freshmorningquotes


Breakfast is key! Everyone from your mom to your teachers will implant it in your mind that you can’t forget the most important meal of day. Even though we’d rather hear our alarm go off and stay in bed for those extra twenty minutes, getting up to grab or prepare a breakfast could be essential to making your work day a successful one. Whether it be a quick meal for the ride such as oatmeal or fruits or classic cereal with milk, breakfast can be a life-saver. If you’re feeling lazy just pick up a bagel while you’re over at Dunkin Donuts.


If you can eat at your desk, I highly suggest you do. It keeps you moving without actually moving! Get your mouth going and chomp on some granola bars or chips

SIDE TIP: I recommend choosing snacks that will give you energy such as fruit, veggies and dip, or granola. This will help boost your energy levels making it easier to stay alert throughout the day.

Take a Break

Even on your busiest days, get up and walk around for at least 5 – 10 minutes a day. This brings circulation back into those legs that fell asleep and gets you away from the desk. Make it a thing to walk away from your desk every two hours or so, even if it’s just for two minutes. Bother a co-worker, refill your bottle at the water station or just take a bathroom break and enjoy every minute of it. Even though some may want to work through their break just to get their work done and out of the way, 15 – 30 minutes a day is a must. It’s important to take care of your body at work.

SIDE TIP: I suggest packing leftovers or a good, hearty lunch so you are not forcing yourself to go out and purchase lunch. A packed lunch will give you something to look forward to in the middle of the day and you’ll also have more time to relax on your break instead of having to rush out to buy food.


Positive Thinking and Motivation

Go into work with a positive mindset, leave work with a positive mindset. Not every day will be great but remind yourself that life is good and this job is only temporary if that is the case. You did all you can for your eight-hour day and tomorrow will be another chance to do better. Keep yourself motivated and looking forward to other things during the day whether it be the happy hour drinks you’ll enjoy after work or the weekend festivities you have planned. This will help move the day along quicker than you might think. 


Working is a part of life. There’s no way around it. Clerical work becomes routine and boring especially for new graduates who are not used to working a 9 – 5, Monday – Friday, day in and day out. Hang in there and use some, if not all, of these tips to aid you in surviving the day! Good luck! ~

Pauline Ybañez is a contributing writer for

Twitter: @PaulineYbanez

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