By Jenna Paiano, CCNYPA*VISTA serving at Cabrini University
With the holiday season approaching, our college campuses are probably starting to slow down as students prepare for finals and break. However, we still have deadlines to meet, goals to accomplish and forms to submit for our projects. This may come with a bit of difficulty and stress.
That difficulty may linger into our everyday work and the relationships we have with our co-workers, students, and supervisors. While it is important to have a strong work-life/personal life balance, unideal situations at work can have a negative impact on our personal lives. Below are three tips for dealing with tough work situations.
1. Treat the difficulties as an opportunity for growth
The work that we do each and every day at our host sites is not very glamorous. We are constantly dealing with large projects, lack of resources, and the issue of always being mistaken as a student or an intern. With all of those issues, the last thing one wants to deal with is a conflict with a co-worker, volunteer, or supervisor. Instead of approaching the problem with a “why is this happening to me?” angle, look at it as a “how can I use this issue as a chance to grow?” opportunity. Reframing the problems into positives can help find a quicker, more concrete solution. Does it make the issue less difficult? Absolutely not. But, it is a productive, immediate response to the problem at hand.
2. View the issue from the other person’s perspective
Sometimes, in both our work and personal life, we tend to get very wrapped up in the “me” problems. I have a program to run and when *person* does *thing*I can’t get my work done the way that I want it completed. While, yes, you have a particular structure for your work and you have certain expectations for it, that is not always going to be the final result. Things happen, plans change, and you need to adapt to that situation. The person that you are having this problem with might also have a particular way of operating, or maybe they had a certain upbringing or trauma in their past that doesn’t allow them to complete work as easily. Try to consider other perspectives before assuming that they are making your life harder on purpose.
3. Take time away from the office as needed
I cannot stress this point enough: use your personal and medical days as much as possible. Yes, work is important, but your personal and mental health is more important. How could you possibly give your project your best effort if you are not feeling 100% you? Utilize your calendar and schedule in breaks as needed. Especially with the holiday season right around the corner, it is crucial that you take advantage of every day out of the office and “chill” workday as possible. Your body and your mental health will thank you.
It is unrealistic to assume that every office problem will go away when you have a positive mindset in place, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Be sure to contact Chelsea, Danelle or Lucio if you are having problems at your host site that are larger than you can handle.
Welcome to the CCNYPA*VISTA Blog, written for VISTAs, by VISTAs!