Your Desk Isn’t Your Dorm

The transition from school to work can be quite difficult. Most of us enjoy the freedoms of college, the ability to work on our own schedule, and not being confined to a desk for extended periods of time. Entering the workforce may mean that our attitudes have to shift a little and we have to learn to accept that our new jobs require a certain amount of desk sitting time a day.  Others take to having a desk to work from like fish to water.

Most people spend the majority of their week working from their desk, so it is understandable that they should want to decorate it with things from outside the office that make them happy. Photos of family and friends; pictures from the last vacation; or something quirky like a cat wearing a watermelon hat. While we don’t advocate losing your sense of self when you get employed or not finding a way to balance your personal life with your work life, we do urge you to remember that your desk is not your dorm.

Your desk is not the place to wallpaper the cube walls with photos of your friends and family – especially of those photos from all your swaps, booze cruises, and toga parties. Keep the funny photos of you, your friends, and your red solo cups at home. One or two photos at your desk is fine, but keep a limit on it.

Additionally, keep a cap on the number personal items you keep on display at your desk. You love baseball so you have a bobble head of your favorite player. Go ahead and put him out, but not the whole team. And most certainly not the whole MLB.

If you feel like your desk is bland and not welcoming, why not try finding something from your company you can display. Maybe there is a photo of talent that you worked with at work. Or an empowering quote someone from work made you can clip from the newspaper. Maybe your company has fun, pithy slogan lines that they brand on buttons or stickers you could put up. Adding just a small piece of the company to your desk shows that you want to have a friendlier environment then one that is just a collection of paperwork, but won’t make you feel like a total buttkiss.

It is important to enjoy where you work. That goes all the way to the granular level of liking the physical space you posses during the day. It is also important that your space at work both represents you as a person and your ability to perform your job at the maximum of your capabilities. Don’t let your desk give off the impression that your key life achievement was being crowned Miss Toga 2010.

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