Work/Life Balance


Hey there folks!


If you have been following along over the last few months then you know that roughly seven months ago I moved following the death of my mother. Since that time I have been looking for work in the new area as the move was a bit spontaneous as opposed to a calculated decision. Luckily I am in a position where I can be discerning in my job search and do not feel pressure to just take whatever happens along in order to pay rent. One of the most important things to me as I search for a job is my work/life balance.


You see, out of college the only job I was able to find was working in the food service industry, in particular working as a manager for a pizza restaurant. This is exactly what I was doing before I went into college and a big part of the reason that I went to college in the first place was because I really wanted out of that job. But, those were the times and I had a significant pile of debt from school so I took the job. Despite my reservations I worked hard and took the job seriously, so within months I was promoted and given my own store to run. As sad as it is in hindsight it was more money than I had made previous and was the first time I had been the top dog in stead of the assistant so I was excited.


Now I have never been afraid to work, but this job nearly broke me. I ran the store for just shy of two years and I worked exhaustive hours taking maybe one or two days of a month for long stretches of time. Eventually all of this caught up to me and the sheer exhaustion started to affect everything in my life, especially my work. Basically one thing led to another, I started catching heat for the quality of my work and I left. It became obvious that no one in that company gave a shit about me and I realized that I needed to start taking better care of myself. Not to mention the fact that I want things in life outside of a job like a relationship and maybe one day a family, and the way I was working I would never have time for that.


So fast forward to now and I am taking my writing seriously because I know that is where my passion rests. My blog here helps keep me in the habit of writing daily, I am exploring freelance opportunities to try and make a little scratch, and I am slowly but surely working on my first novel. I would still also very much like to find a relationship and whatever else that may come along with that; so, right now my time is more important to me than ever. However, I do recognize that if I do not want to entirely obliterate my savings then I need to get working and bringing in that paycheck.


The problem I deal with now is that I am a straight forward kind of guy, so when I am asked what motivates me to work the first thing out of my mouth is work/life balance. Every time I say those words I can hear the interviewers sphincter tighten. While I do recognize that a job interview is a terrible place for no nonsense honesty, I have yet to find a clever way to spin that truth so when put on the spot it just leaps out of my mouth much to my chagrin.


Whenever I think about this, the first thing that comes to mind is disdain. Why should I have to spin this bit of information? Do I really want to work for someone who doesn’t respect their employees enough to afford them enough time for a personal life? Usually right after that question forms in my mind I hear my father saying, “being an adult means some times you have to do things you don’t want to do”. While I understand that sometimes you have to do what you have to do, it seems to me there is a very fine line between doing what is necessary and settling.


I have no problem doing what is necessary but at this point in my life I refuse to settle. If you want my unwavering loyalty and devotion then you have to earn it and if the only thing you are doing to earn it is giving me a paycheck than it better be one hell of a paycheck. For the life of me I do not understand why American culture seems to embrace this selfless attitude towards working for someone else, but I want no part of it. If you hire me for a job I am going to give you 100% effort every moment I am on your clock without hesitation. However, your company is not the center point of my life and it never will be. My personal time is every bit as important to me as your paycheck and as long as you respect that then we will get along just fine.


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