“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
The employer-employee relationship, something that will always interest me. Businesses need employees, and so many of us need that job to pay our bills, and sustain our way of life; the relationship is completely codependent. But what happens when the relationship becomes abusive? What happens when our work-life balance gets all in a tizzy? When we find ourselves being glued to our phones and email day in and day out; something we may have never intended to happen. Now what?
I’d like to share some of my experience when I was put in this situation. I’m not sure if you’ve read enough of my blogs to really get a good feel for me. To sum it up I’m the most introverted, hard working, and complete people-pleaser individual you will probably ever (or never) meet. I love helping people and I love making people happy. So when work asked me to pick up additional hours or work on my off days I really didn’t think anything of it.
What I found after months of “working outside of work” is that your brain needs a rest. Businesses and managers alike may not understand this. Any CEO is dedicated to their business, and what I found in my situation is that the same level of dedication was expected of me. More hours, same pay, more responsibility. I suddenly realized I was not getting the deal I wanted. My free time was taken up, I felt like I was on call all the time, and didn’t see a dime more for my efforts. This was not good.
The purpose of this blog is for those of us who over work ourselves to remember why we’re doing it; especially if we’re not happy or become unhappy with our lives. I’ll stand by the statement that many of us pledge allegiance to our jobs and businesses. The reason? I think work always gives us a sense of purpose but I think many of us are scared of losing it. What happens if we lose our jobs and can’t afford the mortgage, the student loans, the car payment etc… Yet, we don’t think what happens if a business can’t get anyone to work for them; which would result in no business at all. It is important to remember that employees have the upper hand in the relationship. A business relationship, like any other relationship, can sadly become abusive. Stay connected to your worth.
Our most precious resource on earth is time. Most of our time is spent working. Doing what we love is simply not enough; we are creatures of environment. Business culture is no different than the values you set on yourself. Sometimes though, business values and personal values collide. That is what I was experiencing in my personal experience. I personally hated working all the time for two reasons. I’m not all that in love with what I do, and I love having control of my time.
At the end of the day I didn’t quit my job, and I didn’t yell at anyone. I made a behavioral change. I will always continue to help, it’s literally in my nature to do so; but I’m more aware of the stress and toll things have on me now. When I come home from work I turn my phone off; anything that I’m not in the office for can wait till the next day, and if my employer has an issue with that I’d be more than willing to address it.
In closing I truly believe it is so important for us to value our time, because I’m not sure if we can assume any business will. As depressing as it is, in business, people are a replaceable commodity. People come and go but our work ethic stays with us and is a point of uniqueness that makes us stand out. We can always be the employee that every business would want; but what would it take for every business to be a place we would want to work for?
Has anyone run into an experience like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic!