We can sometimes feel like all we do in life is go to work. However, there is so much more to life than your job. If your boundaries between work and life start to blur, then you could be in a bit of trouble.
Wanting to build a fantastic career where we can excel and progress is something that many of us strive for. That’s great! However, sometimes on our career journeys we start to give up different aspects of our lives. Working late may prevent you from going to that evening class you had planned. Work calls may start to invade your evenings and weekends. You may cut out week-night drinking sessions with your friends.
There are a few things, however, that you should never sacrifice for your job no matter what. You can build a successful career without sacrificing these aspects of your life. If you lose these five things, all your efforts at work may be for nothing.
1. Family and relationships
For many, being able to provide for and support a family is a big driving factor for career success. However, sometimes we work so hard that we can unintentionally damage family relationships as we are too busy working to spend quality time with our families.
The Charlotte Business Journal carried out a study that found 55% of marriages with workaholic spouses ended in divorce compared to the 16% of dissolved marriages without a work-addicted spouse! So, while working hard will help you to advance your career and earn more money to support your family, don’t lose sight of how important family time and creating lasting memories is.
2. Your health
Work can be stressful, however, sometimes this stress builds up, causes us to lose sleep and has a negative impact on our health. Sitting at a desk all day and not getting much exercise can also take its toll and many of us suddenly realise that we have grown a belly and developed back pains.
The key to remaining healthy at work is to set yourself a routine early before any problems set in. You can:
- Plan daily exercise such as lunchtime walks
- Eat and drink healthily
- Switch off after work and during weekends
- Take your full holiday allowance to give you time to recharge
If you make a plan to keep healthy at work and stick to it, common work-related health problems won’t be able to sneak up on you.
3. Who you are
We all have values and beliefs that we live by, but sometimes our work can become unaligned with these. If your manager or company is pushing you to sacrifice your integrity, you should make it clear to them that you are not willing to do things that way. If it’s not something that can be changed, then it may be time to move onto a company whose values are more aligned with your own.
You should also be careful that your job doesn’t become your whole identity. You should have a number of things that are important to you in life, but if work is the overpowering number one then it may have already taken over your identity. Having a life and identity outside of work will help you to de-stress, grow and avoid burning out.
Part of having an identity outside of work is having hobbies and interests. These could be sports, family activities or travel. Interests that keep your mind and body active will help you to switch off from work and feel refreshed. Plus, they’re fun!
5. Your ambitions
Have you been dreaming of a trip around Europe? Do you really want to be a singer? We all have dreams and ambitions in life and career success shouldn’t be the only one. Don’t lose sight of your other dreams and try to fit them around your working life.
Bringing it all together
Having a brilliant career is a top priority for many of us and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, ensure that your career doesn’t consume your entire identity and life. It should be one of a number of important aspects for you.