"The Productivity Pro" Laura Stack posted in her blog today about jobs where long hours are the norm:
She cites the example of a person who says she has a "passion" for her business and that's why she works 70+ hours. To me that's just insane. Because of my position I have to put in a good more hours than I'd like. Part of the reasons for those hours is admittedly my fault. I hate saying, "No," to people. However, over time I've come to realize than when it comes to work, if I say, "Yes," there just so I can avoid saying, "No," what I'm really doing is saying, "No," to my family. And that's not good. We always assume that our loved ones will understand and they'll continue to make sacrifices along with us. But somewhere along the way they realize that in the priority queue they are #2.
As Ms. Stack points out, there are times when the job demands long hours, such as right before completion of a critical project. But at some point things have to settle back down. I think this is where a lot of type A personalities within IT struggle. We like to find a way to solve the problem, meet the need, etc. So we'll continue working at a challenge until we have overcome it. And in the pursuit of that challenge, we complete forget about any sort of work-life balance.
The fact of the matter is it doesn't have to be this way. When you see gurus like Kimberly Tripp talking about work-life balance it should make one realize that there is something more important than fame, fortune, or whatever we think our jobs will provide us. Ken Henderson wrote about similar things in his preface to The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals when he talked about how his mother and father made the decision to leave the city and his father's good job as a government engineer to move the family to the country because they felt that was better for their children.
- Kimberly Tripp: Way, way, way overdue (3rd and 4th paragraphs)
- Kimberly Tripp: Is it really September? Here are some resources to check out! (first paragraph)
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