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I am the typical burnt out millennial. Not the kind of burnt out that I could fix with a vacation, but the kind of burnt out that sinks into your bones and becomes part of your personality. I do not have a five year plan or a path for growth because I can’t see far enough past  the civil unrest and climate disasters to plan anything.

However, we must all participate in the capitalism.

Corporate culture is the absolute worst. CEOs of big companies make an average of 320 times more than their typical worker. The national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour has lost 21 percent of its value since Congress last raised the wage in 2009. And almost a third of employers don’t offer health insurance to their employees. And that’s before you even have to deal with bosses, HR, or coworkers.

In light of all this, these are the constant reminders that I tell myself to keep myself from completely losing my mind. I have a rule that if I need to hear it, then others need to hear it too.

First things first, coffee is life. It is absolutely essential. However, so is water. Try to drink some.

Everyone is underpaid. Everyone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your fiscal health as a priority. Make the meeting and ask for the raise. If that doesn’t work, make your exit plan. It is very hard to get a promotion with a raise. The best way to get the compensation you deserve may be to find a job elsewhere.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially the people who never admit to making mistakes. It’s okay. No one was really that inconvenienced. They just say that because we are all miserable. Everyone is just trying to spread misery around.

Your work does not speak for itself.

If anything, hard work makes you a target for further exploitation and abuse. You gotta advocate for yourself and document everything. I have a special folder called, “Sparkle” where I save everything. Pro tip: save emails as PDFs on your hard drive or cloud drive. Not in Outlook. You will lose them whenever the company’s document policy ends.

Your colleagues are not your family. They put gyms and snacks in our offices as a diversion. Work is not life. Do your time and then get away. Spend time with your actual family, birth or found.

Take your PTO. Every single hour of it. Unless you are a doctor, there is no such thing as a work emergency. Go on vacation and do not check your email. Everyone will survive.

Always remember. you are not your job. The sum of your worth is more than your output.

D. Anner

D. Anner is an editor and writer who is always running away from the stories in her mind. They find her eventually.

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