In college I worked a couple of jobs before taking two unpaid internships and volunteering whenever I had the chance. I worked hard and was told that the only way to get a good job was to hustle for one. And the only way to succeed in life was to work hard, make money and climb the corporate ladder.
It was ingrained in me to hustle, hustle, hustle.
When I was working in a restaurant, I was often told, if you have time to lean, you have time to clean. But I think that sentiment was a part of my daily life. Downtime was for the lazy, taking breaks were for the weak, you can sleep when you’re dead.
I often wonder now, what happened to stopping and smelling the flowers? You only get one life to live, why not enjoy it? I’m not saying I don’t work hard. I’m advocating for finding a balance.
A recent survey found only a quarter of people use up all of their vacation time.
While some people feel they can’t afford to, others worry about losing their jobs.
Workers are entitled to vacation time and humans need a break. But according to this survey, some feel threatened they will be perceived as bad employees, have to come back to a heavier workload or will be replaced.
There is a movement now called, quiet quitting. However, this new trend has a misleading name. The idea is that employees stay at their job but stick to the bare minimum requirements of their role. People aren’t quitting, they are just doing what they are supposed to do.
People are feeling burnt out and aren’t putting in extra unpaid hours or doing tasks above and beyond what they are getting paid for.
Employees are starting to stick up for themselves. However, I’m afraid the next trend will be quietly firing.
There needs to be a shift. Employees need to feel appreciated and employers shouldn’t expect people to kill themselves for their jobs.
One of my first bosses told me that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Of course, this isn’t always attainable but finding joy in what you do, being appreciated and getting paid for all of your tasks is a good place to start. It is important to have conversations with your employers, sometimes you have to speak up. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
I know this easy for me to say because I have a roof over my head and I’m not worried about where my next meal is coming from. But it is a mindset of knowing that there is more to life than corporate success that I’m trying to achieve and trying to pass on to my own daughters.
Let’s do things we love to do, advocate for ourselves, and try to break the cycle of the hustle culture.
Let’s also be mindful to take time to enjoy life, and not think that just making money is the key to a successful life.