Unfortunately, the people who need to read this the most probably never will, because they’ll either be working or thinking about their jobs. For everyone else, I hope this resonates with you and maybe even encourages you to make a change if your job is starting to take over your life.
If you read my last post or if you’ve been following me since the beginning, then you know that this blog has been on a serious hiatus. I never got into the specifics of why I took such a long break, but to sum it up, I had a demanding job.
I cringe just thinking about that because, despite how it may have looked from the outside, that job was not worthy of being considered a career.
It was a dead-end, soul-sucking, under-paying source of stress and anxiety that I didn’t need. But it’s in the past now, and while I’m happy to leave it there, I do want to talk about the importance of work/ life balance (and why you need to make it a priority).
Habits that kill your work/ life balance:
1. Constantly checking your email
Whether you’re addicted to opening the email app on your phone or, worse, you have notifications set up, this is completely unnecessary if you don’t have a stake in the company you work for (or if your job doesn’t involve life-or-death situations that require you to be on call).
2. Letting your boss or coworkers text you
I’m not afraid to admit that I felt pretty damn violated when I found out my manager shared my phone number with other people on our “team.” The number of texts I was getting outside of business hours got so out of control that I changed the settings in my phone so all of my coworkers’ ringtones were silent.
If your boss isn’t paying for your phone and you’re not on call for a job that literally has you saving (or protecting) lives, there’s absolutely no reason why anybody from work should be calling or texting you during your free time. And the only person who should be distributing your number to coworkers is you.
3. Working overtime without being paid for overtime
Why is this such a common practice? If you’re paid a salary and aren’t compensated for overtime hours, then you’re being taken advantage of. It’s that simple; you should be given something in return for the value you’re providing, and if that isn’t the case, it’s probably time to start looking for another job entirely.
4. “Friending” your higher-ups on social media
Sorry, but the last time I checked, your boss is not your friend. Plain and simple. You may get along or go out for the occasional lunch break, and there’s nothing wrong with that; that’s what makes the workday pleasant. But don’t think for a second that your boss has your best interest in mind. Unless you’re sleeping together (sorry) or you were hired purely as a result of knowing the boss (which is also never good), you should do everything in your power to keep your boss out of your personal life.
Privacy is one of those things that you can’t get back once it’s been compromised; do you really want to risk your boss seeing everything you do online? Even if you err on the side of caution and keep your social media pages professional, it only takes one accidental slip-up or the faintest hint that you’re job-hunting to create a nightmare at the office. Avoid that headache altogether and don’t make friends with your boss online.
5. Staying at a job that makes you miserable
Everybody gets frustrated with their job at one point or another; that’s just a part of life. But if you hate your job so much that you dread every weekday and then count down the hours while you’re at work because you’re so unhappy there, then it’s time to come up with another plan.
You might find a similar job somewhere else, change fields entirely, or maybe even start your own business, but one way or another, it’s time to start thinking about career options beyond your current situation. You’ll never be able to maintain much of a work/ life balance if you’re constantly living with animosity towards your 9-5.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that, at least in America, we all have control over our own futures. Whether that means putting up with your job for a little while longer to stash away cash for your big exit or starting a side hustle so that you can earn some passive income, there’s always some way to create the life you want, and your job doesn’t have to be the trap you might be viewing it as.
Why work/ life balance is so important
I don’t know about you, but when I’m old and lying in my death bed, I want to be able to remember more than just spending long days at the office and commuting. I don’t want to spend all my time with my coworkers; I want to spend time with my loved ones.
I’ve seen so many people work their whole lives away for meaningless jobs with nothing to go home to.
Why even bother?
Life is short and nothing lasts forever. Spend time with the people who matter. Make time for experiences that can’t wait. Don’t put your life on hold just so some greedy company can get you to do the work of 2 employees.
If you don’t have work/ life balance, then you’re probably working too hard. I realize there are fields like law enforcement or medicine where long hours are just a part of the job and there’s nothing to do about that. I respect those professionals even more because of the sacrifices I know they make.
But for everyone else who’s not saving lives, you should be able to enjoy your own. Don’t let your job take over your life. Your boss can always replace you, but the people who care about you can’t.
I hope this post comes across as helpful and inspiring, rather than being preachy or bossy. I’m finally at a place where I don’t have a demanding job and it’s so rewarding not to have a job that fills me with dread. I know I’m not the only one who had that type of experience, and I want this post to find the people who need to hear my advice.
Share this post with a friend who needs to see it, or put it up on social media if you’re feeling like making a statement! Don’t forget to subscribe to see all my new blog posts, and join my new Facebook group if you also blog 🙂