b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Your Life or Your Career?

3/06/2006

 

Your Life or Your Career?


It’s a given that starting out in any professional career means having to pay your dues in order to move up the ladder. But how high are those dues now?

After working for 12 years in my industry, I’m expected to work longer hours (and consistently so) than before. It goes without saying that you need to be willing and flexible when your sights are on that nice promotion. Even still, if there’s no promotion in your immediate future, of course it would probably help to work a little extra here and there. Maybe volunteer for a new project in addition to your daily workload.

But it gets to a point where you need to stop and ask yourself what you’re really doing it for. In my situation – and I hardly think I’m alone on this one – I’ve gone almost 6 whole years without a promotion and yet my hours got longer and longer and steadily so for a good chunk of that time.

So I took a look at my situation and asked myself just what exactly it was that I was doing. And I had no good answer. I was wasting what I saw as valuable time – and my partying years. Partying aside, I had no life during the work week. Just what would I have done if I had a family? I realized that I was losing time to do things for myself that I wanted to do. It wasn’t the life that I envisioned for myself.

I’m not a doctor or a lawyer or an investment banker where the money is rolling in. I’m your average working Jane, working for a decent salary, but I’m far from wealthy.

So folks, I’m more or less throwing this question out into the cosmos; Why do we have to do this? How many out there are happy slaving at the offices for ridiculous amounts of time that they will probably never get back?

I heard something recently that I thought was interesting. I wish I could remember where it was that I heard it. Back in the earlier part of the 20th century, people speculated that because of all the technological advances occurring, it would cut production time/work time into a fraction of what it was then (and they were basing that on an 8-hour work day). They said that in another 80 years or something people would only have a 2-hour workday (or something silly like that). So why is it that with all of these wonderful advances we’re working longer and harder rather than smarter?

Just something I’m tossing out there.

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting

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