I want to preface this memoir by stating that this is not a memoir on quitting your job or changing your streams of income without a plan. In fact this memoir, is about maintaining a healthy work-life balance that allows you to establish boundaries, empowering you to put your self-care first while being a productive contribution to your employer. Do not get me wrong, I admire the bold tenacity of the person who said, “eff this” & created their own standards of their employment. However, as a person still subscribed to the 8-4, 9-5 work schedule & probably will be for a while; I can only speak from my experiences & those like me. So instead of challenging the choices of the bold entrepreneurs (all of which, I know, have been successful in their businesses); I urge you to identify the organizational behavior of your employer & determine if you have allowed it to put restraints on your life.
Many people wake up every day with crippling anxiety unsure of what awaits them. Others have sacrificed the time spent with their families & loved ones to be able to manage the high demands of their jobs & salary employees spend many nights working past their scheduled time to ensure they can, at minimum, meet their daily expectations. Often times, we discuss establishing boundaries in our personal lives but fail miserably with establishing in our professional career. I am not oblivious– I understand that most of us, if not all– rely on our employment to pay our bills & provide for our families. But how good are we to our families, if we allow the stress of our employer to leak into the various facets of our lives that make us, us.
It is imperative that you advocate for your self care. Because if you have nothing else, your self care is what will allow you to keep giving unto the world in the capacity that you want to. Too often, we lose ourselves in our jobs. We become disgruntled, unhappy, anxious, disconnected & unmotivated trying to keep up with a race that we did not agree to run in. If you ran yourself to the ground, your employer (hopefully) will leave your position unposted for a week but once the demands of that position require fulfillment; you better believe that you become a memory. People will mourn you, show face at your funeral, give their condolences to your family but the job must go on. All the work & time sacrificed will not matter anymore a month in to the position being filled. So be mindful of this. Pour extra time into those that love you. Reserve that time for those that will mourn you long after the first week of your passing. Give them more opportunities to create memories with you by creating your boundaries.
Boundaries are not simply for the people in your personal life. Boundaries can be respectfully established & enforced in your professional environment & you do not necessarily have to explicitly state them. Many of these boundaries you have to enforce, coincide with the employee handbook they provided when they were trying to convince you that you were working for the best place on earth. How effective is working late, if you still have to face the problem tomorrow? Detach when needed. Use your mental health days. Take your hour lunch. Clearly communicate your needs & stand on that with expectation. Show your families you love them by giving them the best thing you can give them- your time. Most importantly recognize when the boundaries you establish are being violated & move accordingly. There are so many opportunities out there, you do not need to restrict yourself to mistreatment or anything that is not conducive to your evolution. Remember- YOU first. YOU deserve to be FIRST.