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What's the Plan? [May. 11th, 2005|12:00 pm]
Sauce1977


Things catch my eye in their own way.

Take this quote from this one article:


It is not uncommon in corporate America to find employees who are overworked and not able to fully enjoy a life outside the office. In fact, the average middle income family now works four months more in total hours than they did in 1979, according to economists Barry Bluestone and Stephen Rose, and a Boston College survey found that 26 percent of Americans today take no vacation at all.


My grandfather told me of a time in his early adult life when he went to work at a number of jobs, trying to fit in school, his wife, and a lot of other hobbies. People worked long hours back in the 1920s through the 1940s, and there's always a significant portion of the population that works a whole lot of time out of the day. He got lucky at one point . . . one of his jobs earned him more than what his father was making at the time.

We're facing a time like the 1930s, from how my grandfather talks.

I don't have to ask him about a plan because I know that I need and have one.

Everyone that knows me knows that I feel most alive when I'm creating something.

The difference between a hobby and a career is the money earned. Hobbies are primarily a pursuit of pleasure.

It is possible to pursue a career which also pleases.

My mother has been quite fortunate in this regard. She teaches 5th grade; she's been doing it for many years.

I know what I need to do. I hope we all find that career which will afford us the hobbies to become careers.



Kate Lorenz compiled something that caught my eye.

Does Your Boss Forget You Have a Life?


Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor



It's 7:05 p.m. and for the third time this week, you are ordering dinner at the office. Not only have you worked late all week, but your boss asked you to come in every weekend for the past month, and you haven't left the building for lunch in ages. Let's face it, your boss has forgotten one very important thing about you -- that you do have a personal life.

It is not uncommon in corporate America to find employees who are overworked and not able to fully enjoy a life outside the office. In fact, the average middle income family now works four months more in total hours than they did in 1979, according to economists Barry Bluestone and Stephen Rose, and a Boston College survey found that 26 percent of Americans today take no vacation at all.

So what can you do to reclaim some of this time for your personal life? It can be tricky, but here are some steps you can and should take:


1. Identify the problem.

Is this a new phenomenon at your office? Is it just recently that your boss has asked you to put in the extra time, or is it something that has been going on for a while? Is it part of the company culture?

It's important to find out the reason behind the extra hours you have been logging. In some cases, there might actually be a reasonable need for the team to pitch in and give some extra time. Perhaps your company is going through a major change or your department has a multimillion-dollar proposal to complete. On the other hand, things at the office might be status quo, with no new added pressures or deadlines. You need to know what's chipping away at your personal life before you figure out how to address it.


2. Have an honest conversation with your boss.

Whether the extra time is out-of-the-ordinary or run-of-the-mill, you need to be proactive and speak to your boss about how you are feeling. Request a formal meeting to discuss the situation, as you would with any work issue. Write down your concerns and suggestions before the meeting, and make sure you have solid examples of the extra time you put in. You will probably learn a lot from your boss's response to your concerns. If it's a workload issue, be ready to suggest ways to get the work done during regular work hours. If your boss simply tells you that this is the way life is at your company, you will need to do some more thinking.


3. Consider what your job is worth.

If the necessity to put in extra time is because of a project that is on deadline, company changes that are taking place, or any other external factors, you might want to take one for the team. Most of us at one time or another will be called on to sacrifice for a job.

It's up to you to decide if the job is worth it. Were you happy with your company before you had to put in the extra time? Are you fulfilled enough in your company to ride out the storm? Is there a professional payoff, such as a raise or large bonus, waiting for you when the project is completed? If you are willing to stick around, you still need to be sure your concerns are documented and that you are tracking the business at the office. Don't let a short-term situation become long-term problem.


4. Take a close look at your priorities.

If your job has consistently eaten away at your personal life for a long period of time, you need to seriously consider what you want out of life and your career. While a career is important, there are millions of people who are able to find success without sacrificing their overall happiness. What is important to you right now? Do you have friends and family you are losing touch with because of your job? Or do you see this as a means to an end in your career?

Only you can determine what sacrifices you want to make for your career. But remember, having a life outside the office is not only nice – it's also good for you and will make you a more productive employee in the end. If you decide that you cannot continue at your current pace, have another meeting with your boss and let him or her know where you stand. If your employer is a keeper, it will work to find a solution so they can retain a productive and happy employee -- you.


Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Other writers contributed to this article.




We're more than just our work, in many cases.

Don't let them take every last minute, and don't let them take more than they're offering.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: joethecabdriver
2005-05-11 05:52 pm (UTC)
Its damn hard to have any kind of life outside of work unless you can live with your folks and work shit jobs like I do. At one time when I was driving cab, for a period of a few years, I would lease a cab for 24 hours 6 days a week and sit all day and night in front of the airport. to me that was preferable to working 10-12 hard hours in the city. I was abolutly miserable. All my life I've been a fool for work, but no more.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-11 06:06 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to avoid 80 hour work weeks and not enough for expected bills.

You and me both on fool for work . . . I get suckered in, every time.

It's the damn costs that are doing it. They pay once you really devote a substantial amount of time to the job, be it professional corporate person or otherwise.

All that time devoted, however, doesn't amount to a pension or even social security, seemingly. It seems illogical to even try to work salary because every company that gets you on a payroll can work you as many hours as they see fit above 40.

I haven't really experienced any significant higher level of pay since 1997. In that time, gas went from 99 cents to 2.19. Smokes were 3 bucks, maybe . . . everything seems to be 2x more in cost.
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