Work is taking over my life…

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
43 posts
Newbee

When I was looking for my first serious job, I had the opportunity to sit down for coffee with a 40 year old investment banker (woman) who had spent 15 years with Goldman Sachs. As you can imagine, she has endured years of eighty hour (plus, plus) workweeks.

At the time, I brought up my then budding relationship. I couldn’t imagine working in that industry and having a sucessful personal life. To my surprise, she told me she had been married for 15 years and always found ways to make it work. Her advice was to treat your relationship for what it is, something delicate, not to be dropped, not to be neglected. Being busy does not mean you cannot have a personal life, it just means that you can’t take your personal life for granted.

While I was ultimately offered a junior job in that line of work, I’ve since found a job with less time demands (that doesn’t pay as well). There are tradeoffs to be made, and I don’t think I was prepared to make them.

In your case, it looks like you’re being given more responsibility. Ask for a raise. Make your case- you’ve made it here. This doesn’t need to be emotional, just a structured rationale for why you deserve to be compensated. Otherwise, work on your resume and look elsewhere. It doesn’t seem like you’re happy with your current employer, an issue that a promotion wouldn’t solve. Just remember that there are tradeoffs to be made between work and life at some point- you aren’t there yet. Right now, it seems like you’re getting the stress of the big job without the big cheque.

Post # 3
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

kaylaann:  “My overall health has suffered from the work situation to the point where I collapsed before Xmas, have insomnia, hair loss, and major weight loss (not much eating at work without a lunch break). I have been fighting since then to strike a balance in my life and try to put at least some focus on my wellbeing and the most important thing that has ever happened in my life (marrying the man that I love). My work seems to come in direct conflict with my want for a normal family life.” 

 

I worry about that paragraph above. I used to work in a very demanding industry (management consulting) and many of my friends were investment bankers. Those of us who chose to prioritize our health and love lives have all left. None of the dying ever listed working more as a top regret, but they do regret not spending more time with family. I don’t believe in living to work, I believe in working to live. 

 

It’s time for you to step back and stand up for yourself. If you’re working way more than normal, you need to get paid more. If you’re being offered more responsibility beyond your job description, this calls for a promotion. If your work is affecting your health – you ONLY HAVE ONE BODY – you need to start saying NO. 

Your question – can you have a baby and a family with a job like this? My honest opinion, having met so many CEOs who regret not starting their families sooner because of demanding jobs? No. Unless your bosses start respecting your needs, you are going to have make a choice. There are plenty of jobs out there that won’t take your health and family away from you. Your bosses sound like terrible leaders and slackers. If I were you, I’d get out of this situation. 

Post # 5
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Leverage your promotion into kick-ass bullet points on your resume, and plan to get the heck out of there.  Also, in the interim, don’t be afraid to say no to your boss (or her boss). I have found that if you accept tasks endlessly and agree to go on trips, etc. that trend will continue. Keep the emotions out of it, and advocate for yourself. Refusing (professionally, of course) to take on yet another task demonstrates power and demands respect, if you articulate it the right way. For a week, try to work 8 hours/day. Leave on time. Get your life balance back. Don’t take anyone’s shit. Walk with confidence and grace. Never apologize or offer TMI explanations. Just focus on the job, and then at home, focus on home.

After that week, see how you feel. See what was truly crucial in your schedule, and what could wait til tomorrow. It’s impossible for everything to be a #1 priority, as much as your boss might try to pretend otherwise. 

Please make time for lunch- it will make your afternoon so much more bearable and productive! Even if it’s a protein bar and yogurt at your desk- squeeze in something. Ultimately, no job is worth the amount of stress you have described. 

This is such an exciting time- you are about to marry your husband! That is more important, frankly, than anything. Remember that, and nurture that. 

Post # 6
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

kaylaann:  It is messed up, but you have the power to say no. Here’s how I see it – they need you because clearly everyone else is too lazy to do anything. If you say no, the worst thing they can do is fire you. And even that isn’t so bad. You can tell your next employer that you were not being fairly compensated for how much you are working and that when you asked for a break for health, they didn’t give it to you. Your situation sounds terrible but at the same time, to be frank, you sound like a bit of a doormat and you’ve been walked all over. If I were working the hours you were working I’d demand at least 2x a teachers’ salary, seriously. Do exactly what you have to do to make yourself healthy. I don’t care whether it upsets your senior supervisors, you have no future at this company anyway. And start looking for a new job!

Post # 7
Member
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

kaylaann:  I definitely agree with the PPs, I have one thing to add: The week of your wedding/honeymoon, YOU need a vacation! These people get to take vacations? You should get one too. Put in your request for days off and say no, no, no to that conference. 

It sounds like you are a really nice person, taking on all of that. I wonder if you are getting a lot of spill over from your boss who takes on more than she can handle. She needs to start saying no too (not that it’s your job to handle that issue). 

Overall, sounds like a bad place, if your priority is your family and your health, I’d look for a different job. 

Post # 8
Member
4810 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

What field are you in? If you’re getting paid less than child care, I would just quit after having a baby. Or find a different job.

Post # 9
Member
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

What field do you work in, OP? Is this the norm for that field, or is it just this company? 

Post # 11
Member
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I will only speak for myself.  Looking back when I graduated from my university I didn’t have time to get my hair colored or relax because I was running around turning in my finals for my last semester.  I had wished I wasen’t so dead tired that day, I was just out of it.  In my mind the day was going to be nice but I was just damn tired.  

Exibit 2:  A couple years back I worked at a job where I had be to work at 5:30am every day at a job I hated.  That job always forced me to work all day on December 24th.  My family always celebrates on Dec. 24th in the evening into the late hours.  I was always dead tired.  I even fell asleep one time next to my fiance during church service on Christmas Eve.  My only point is this…  It wasen’t worth it to me to miss out on the moments in my life because I was so damn tired because of obligations.  Life passes you by and the special moments we have a few and far between.  I’m not willing to miss them anymore.  I’m not willing to not be present and there feeling the moment.  Good luck.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by  chica95110.
Post # 13
Member
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

kaylaann:  I was thinking about you.  And I did want to tell you one more thing.  I did leave that job I hated after 3 1/2 years.  I had been there long enough to know that job would never get better.  My fiance and I decided life was to short and one day I gave my notice to move to Mexico.  We moved to a state in Mexico based on my internet research only.  We were both scared to death.  It was not possible for me to secure a job before I arrived.  But, it turned out.  We still live in Mexico now.  Has it been a struggle – yes.  Was it worth it?  Yes.  Don’t be afraid to make a change when the time is right.

Post # 14
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

kaylaann:  Please don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself 🙁 

In general, women don’t stick up for themselves enough, and they have a tendency to get stepped upon. 🙁  I think I was stuck in a similar situation to you at my current position.  They kept loading me up with more and more responsibility without adequate monetary compensation.  They will keep giving to more responsibility until you say ENOUGH.

I finally had enough.  Taking short breaks to cry in the bathroom is not acceptable. I figured out a plan to divide the workload more equally, presented it to my boss, and told them I required a raise. I didn’t ‘ask’ for it, I demanded it – with an argument as to why I was worth it.

I understand that nonprofit companies are a little tougher to negotiate with due to lack of funding, and you may very well find yourself leaving your position for another.  You have to do what’s best for you though. 🙂

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