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Is more than 8 hours a day necessary to get on?


Is more than 8 hours a day necessary to get on?

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winston Smith
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In the IT world is it totally necessary to work more than 8 hours a day to get on?
Im a consultant on a salary, and my contract is or 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

But to progress, I need to stay abreast of all the latest technologies, and time for this is usually outside of work. I need to present now and again, and prep for this is always done after work at home. I travel and that can some times mean an extra 8+ hours travelling a week, outside of work hours.

I like work, but i work so as to have money to keep my family and have fun with them. but lately im finding that work encroaches on that, and worse, i feel lazy for wanting to sit down and spend a few hours after work and just watch tv with my partner.

My question is should i just buck up and accept that on top of 40 hours, i should expect 15+ more hours of study, travel etc if i want to earn more, are there roles that accept that work is only 40 hours a week?
Mark Eckeard
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I can't speak to the travel expectations as I don't do any. However, about the training -- I would say unless you can squeeze it in during work hours or it's mandated by your company that you train and they allow you to do it during the normal work hours, yes, you need to accept the fact that you will have to spend your personal time for training.

Mark



RonKyle
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Yes, it is a fact of IT life that some study has to occur off hours. 15+ every week sounds like a lot, though. However, there are times that that is necessary. For consultants, this also takes up a lot of time because you have to be the expert in the areas in which you work for your client, so more is demanded.



lshanahan
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The "IT World" as you put it is WAY too big nowadays to give any kind of definitive answer as to how many hours you should expect. Gone are the days of the "geeks" who knew absolutely everything there is to know about every aspect of IT. Some jobs pretty much expect over 40 hours, some not so much. My current IT job is 40 hours per week with rare overtime for special situations - things that would cause way too much disruption during the work week - but these don't occur very often.

There's stuff I do outside of work that I could consider work-related, but it really isn't because fiddling with computers, etc., is also a hobby. For example, tonight I begin an on-line programming class which will certainly benefit at work, but that's not the primary reason. I'm taking it because I like programming and want to learn more about it. In a similar vein I took an online statistics class earlier this year. Do things like this encroach on family time? Sure, to an extent. However I make it a point not to do more than one class at a time just to keep things manageable.

I like to work also, but work isn't my life and never will be. That's a conscious choice. Everyone has a different limit on how much work can intrude on home and family, but I'd bet a million dollars to a doughnut most would agree that once you start regretting or resenting how work is impinging on home, there's something wrong - regardless of your field.

It's been prven over and over that humans need rest from their labors, be they mental or physical. There's nothing wrong with being a conscientous employee and getting the job done, but neither is there anything wrong with just saying "Chuck It, I'm going to watch TV for a while."

____________
Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.
winston Smith
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lshanahan (8/19/2013)
most would agree that once you start regretting or resenting how work is impinging on home, there's something wrong - regardless of your field."


That's an interesting statement. Thanks for the insight everyone. I have some thinking to do.
RonKyle
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If it helps more, I've told my children from time to time "Family comes first, but not always."



Jack Corbett
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I guess I don't consider the learning and preparing to present part of my job. I do consider it part of my career though. My job is what pays the bills right now, my career is what allows me to continue paying the bills and hopefully retire some day. I definitely value down time, probably more than I should, but I don't think I'd be able to do my job without some.

I'd say I expect that 50 hours a week between job and career is probably an good average. If my job requires the full 50 then my career goals may take a back seat that week.

I typically don't turn on my PC on Sunday as that is a total down day when it comes to job & career.



Jack Corbett

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winston Smith
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Thanks for the input folks. I do expect to have to put in a certain amount of time outside of work, but its becomming a bit much lately. I am also feeling a little undervalued, as colleagues with less experience are currently earning 25-30% more so work + extra time + less money makes me think i need to have a chat with my current employer and assess my options.

Il update the thread once i have further info to add to the story, as it may help someone else at some stage.
Koen Verbeeck
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I work 40 hours a week as a consultant, but I do read/write blogs, prepare for sessions, answer forum questions et cetera in the evening (1 to 2 hours on average). As others have said, this isn't really "part of the job", it's part of my career and it is a hobby as well. But I do it (most of the time) with pleasure. Once it starts feeling like a drag, it's time to wind down. I usually play some games then or watch some tv series. Until my batteries are charged again.

Weekends are off-limits though. 100% family time. I even try not to read e-mail then :-)
This means I'll never get to do a SQLSaturDay, but hey, I'll live Smile


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Spending a few hours beyond your 40 can pay dividends. I was stuck in rut of a job for 3 years longer than I should have been because I didn't spend that time. I learned from that mistake and will never make it again.

And this is coming from a new father, who wants nothing more than to spend time with his daughter.
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