Does your work allow you to have a healthy work-life balance? Do you get to spend enough time with the people who matter most to you? If not, eventually you will burn out and will have to make a difficult choice. Poor work life balance is one of the leading causes for a complete career change.
In the beginning of our careers, we are pretty much expected to work harder and put in more work hours. That’s reasonable and understandable. Besides, it’s easier to do if you are young and don’t have a family yet. However, I have met quite a few individuals who continue to work crazy hours, even after many years in the industry. They don’t do it because they love their jobs so much. They do it because they feel that’s what their jobs demand.
Exhaustion kills your passion.
Working hard because you want to is different from working hard because you feel like you have to. When you want to work hard you feel energized and excited. When you work hard because you feel like you have to, you often feel exhausted and depleted. And at the end of the day, you have very little energy left to do things you normally enjoy doing.
Nothing kills your passion more than feeling tired all the time. That’s why it is very important to sort out your priorities and pace yourself at work. And if your job really demands this much from you, perhaps it’s time to re-consider your values and priorities.
More hours of work doesn’t always equal more value.
Poor work-life balance also affects your work environment, your growth and, believe it or not, the value you bring to the table. You may think, the more hours of work you put in, the more value you bring, right? Perhaps, but only to a certain extent.
We bring most value when we put in productive energy. However, our productive energy has limits. And when we reach our full capacity of this productive energy, the energy shifts into something else, not so productive. It turns into agitation, anxiety, frustration, and, eventually, grievance and resentment towards our employer.
Our values change over time.
We may have had a lot more energy to work crazy long hours in the beginning. Not only because we were younger, but also because we were a lot more excited about our jobs. Besides, we need to put in more time and effort to build a strong career foundation.
However, when we get older, our priorities change. Family becomes a lot more important than work. As much as we still want to provide for our family, we want to enjoy time with them even more. In addition to that, we also need to take time for ourselves in order to stay sane.
It is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that you continue thriving and making a difference at your job. At any given moment in your career, you have a choice. Instead of working hard, can you work smart? Can you find another employer who is less demanding? And if your entire industry is very demanding, perhaps it’s time to think about a career change.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.