I bet you can think of a dozen movies with the classic “busy parent” character who worked too much and missed too many soccer games. As a kid you’d think “Oh, I’ll never be that person.” You promise yourself you’ll always be there for your kids, your spouse, your family…but then you actually enter the workforce and realize it’s not as easy as you thought.
The fact is, a lot of us are becoming more and more “married” to our job. As software sales recruiters, we know how easy it is to suddenly be in two marriages at once: the one with our spouses and the one with our jobs. The worst part is, it can be impossible to notice the symptoms. Symptoms of your work marriage may include:
- Talking about work. All. The. Time. You talk about work so much that you don’t know how to talk about anything else and people have stopped listening. If you’re having a hard time keeping up conversations with your family that aren’t about software sales, it could be because they’re trying to talk about something other than your job.
- You no longer have hobbies. Remember the days of enjoying nature or taking the time to prepare a new recipe that was to die for? When is the last time you read a good book or saw a movie in the theater? If you’re married to your job, those hobbies you once enjoyed could be a thing of the past. Even on weekends you’re too busy with work activities to enjoy your favorite pastimes.
- Cancelling plans or being late for everything. Your boss appreciates you always being on time for the work day and really appreciates you never missing a day of work. However, your family probably doesn’t appreciate not seeing you at the dinner table or you missing birthdays because you’re working late or you answering work calls on what’s supposed to be your family vacation.
- Working when you’re not at work. Even after working an hour or two late, you’re still checking emails, corresponding with co-workers, writing reports or doing other work activities from home. Even when you’re spending time watching a movie or television show with your family, you’re checking your phone for updates on a project or responding to clients. Even sleeping doesn’t stop you from making mental lists of stuff you need to do.
Do any of these sound like you?
Obviously, your career is important and hopefully, if you’re spending so much time with it, you enjoy it (software sales recruiters like us sure do). There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your job, but if your job is taking over your personal life, it can become a problem not just for you but for those around you. A survey in the UK revealed that one in ten people had a relationship fail because of their dedication to work.
Luckily, you’re now aware of the symptoms of your marriage to your career and you can start treating them before the condition gets worse. Here are some ways you can treat the problem:
- Turn off your phone. As software sales recruiters, we use our phones all the time so we admit this sounds a little crazy, but this is probably the simplest way to keep your work at work. If your phone isn’t on, you can’t check it. If you can’t turn your phone off completely (that’s another addiction for another blog) take your work email off your phone so you don’t feel the temptation to check it when you’re checking other things like social media. If you can’t do that, turn your push notifications off on weekends. If you don’t have the notification, you may eventually stop checking your email all together when you’re spending time with your family. Turning your email off on weekends allows you to take yourself out of work at least two days a week.
- Create a ritual to decompress. Your commute home is a great time to turn your work self off. If you’re taking public transport, watch a movie or television show instead of using your phone for work. Step it up a notch and go completely screen free and take this opportunity to get back into reading books you enjoy. If you’re driving yourself home, DON’T USE YOUR PHONE. Emailing or calling or texting while driving isn’t safe so just don’t do it. Instead, use your drive to focus on the road and decompress from a long day at the office. Listen to music you enjoy or try out that podcast all your friends are talking about. Give your mind the opportunity to think of other things and keep you and others safe on the road.
- Do things you enjoy. Carving an hour out of your day to do something you love can have a major impact on your mental health. Whether it’s going to the gym (if you enjoy that sort of thing) or getting back to those hobbies you once enjoyed, doing what you love will make you a lot happier at home. Cook a meal for you and your family, read a book, or just go to bed early and get an extra hour of sleep. The idea is to focus on you and not the office.
- Ask for help. Your dedication to your business is admirable, but it can also be overwhelming. It can be hard to ask for help when it comes to running your company so start small. One of the most stressful parts of running a business is hiring candidates to fill open positions. You will work a lot of extra hours combing through dozens of resumes, scheduling interviews and performing those interviews that lead nowhere. Instead, take a load off your shoulders by asking Sales Search International to help. We are expert software sales recruiters with access to the perfect candidates you need. We take time to find and vet potential candidates that will fit your needs and your company’s goals and culture.
Believe it or not, being married to your job isn’t always a good thing. You don’t need to divorce your career, but taking some time to focus on yourself, you may find the relationship will be just that much sweeter. Even better, taking time for your family and friends will give you more happiness in and out of the office. If hiring new candidates is taking too much time from your personal life, call us at Sales Search International to speak with on of our software sales recruiters today.