Ask MetalGF: Regarding Winter Depression and Unfulfilling Entry-Level Jobs
Please send real questions to askmetalgf AT metalsucks DOT net. I’m here to help with advice on life, relationships, career… whatever! You can also follow me on Twitter.
I’m think I am depressed, MetalGF! I am just super bummed lately and am having trouble feeling better. No amount of metal is helping. My job is boring, I am single as all hell and life just feels less than exciting. Everything sucks. Please help me!
– Boo-hooing in Boston
Hey man, I hear you. It’s mid-February and I think that in an East Coast poll you would find people are probably at their worst right now; it is the fattest, saddest, least fun time of year. The sun is not shining, there is slush on every corner, and there is no break from work from Presidents Day to Memorial. It’s just a stretch of time that takes a little extra self care in order to make it through in one piece. I have come up with a three step plan that will hopefully help you:
2) Getting offline
3) Doing stuff
My main and first suggestion is SWEATING out the sadness. Exercise is the easiest way to feel better. Get those endorphins bro, they are yours for the taking. Throw on your sneakers and hit the streets and just start running. Go to a yoga class, a spin class, or even just a crazy LONG WALK. Getting your heart racing and your body moving will help to an extent, I promise. Our bodies and minds are deeply and obviously connected and being inside your body instead of your depressed mind, hearing your feet hit the pavement, feeling sore the next day and exerting your physical self is that first step to feeling better emotionally.
The next thing: get off the internet a little. With the state of the world, who isn’t depressed? Every time I look at Twitter, it’s like I am cutting myself. I can barely handle all the news that’s fit to print, coming at me full speed 24 hours a day. There is just SO MUCH BAD NEWS. And further, even social media — which sounds more fun (?) — has been proven to cause depression and anxiety. You don’t need to be comparing yourself to Joe Perfection on his trip to Italy with his lovely wife! They are probably secretly miserable anyway and it’s just not healthy. You need to be living for yourself, doing what’s right for you on the daily and being in the present moment. Which brings me to #3:
Do some stuff! You live in Boston and there are things to be seen. You can do this in so many ways, but here are a few suggestions: cook a meal, draw a picture, swim somewhere, visit a friend, hold a baby, spend time with an animal, see art, read a riveting novel, organize a night out with friends, go dance or go on the long walk I mentioned earlier and just see what happens. Open yourself up to what is out there: working with your hands, seeing real things with your eyes, experiencing weather and culture and human interaction. These things are healing and eye-opening and help us get outside of ourselves and our own personal neuroses. This will also hopefully get you out of your immediate rut and through to May where being happy should be a little easier. Good luck, my friend.
I graduated college in May and I finally just scored an entry level job at one of my favorite metal labels. Working in metal has always been my dream job but I am doing a lot of busy work and lame stuff that no one else wants to do. My friends think it sounds so cool but truthfully I am more of a coffee runner, mail boy and email writer than anything else. I’m kind of over it. Should I keep doing this or try to pursue other dreams that might come with some better and more interesting work?
– Sick of Getting Lattes in LA
Firstly, LOL millennials! But seriously, I hear you and I know it’s rough at first. I will say this: my friends who started working at low level positions but in the field of their choice in their early-mid 20s are now at the top of their respective field some ten years later.
My best friend decided to take a very poorly paying internship in her dream field of film when we were 25 while she worked at a real estate agency on the side to pay the bills. She worked at every level and department at probably six different film companies over the next 10 years, sometimes working insane hours, sometimes miserable, sometimes not, sometimes bored, sometimes doing things certainly below her. But now? She is a VP of distribution at a major company, in a very comfortable place and she loves what she does. Not only that, she could leave where she is now and easily receive plenty of other offers.
I have at least five other stories like this. You don’t need to LOVE work right now, you just need to be in the general right place for you. In fact, I’d say your 20s are a great time to not love work because everything else is so much fun. You don’t have a ton of responsibility, you (and your friends) don’t have kids, you can go out every night after work and live it up all weekend long. And in the meantime, you can know that all those hours doing busy work at the record label are adding up and that you are headed in the direction you want to be while building your character and your resume.
These things take time more than anything else. If you stay at this label (or somewhere similar) for 10 years, there is no way you won’t be higher up doing more of what you dream about. You will be the guy or gal who has been there for a decade, and that is how young bucks like yourself become credible, important, respected people — experience! Paying your dues is a real thing. Times have definitely changed and there isn’t the same guarantee there used to be that things will work out, but if this is the field you want to be in you are in the right place even though the day-to-day can be a drag. Stick with it.