We all know that if you work too hard or too long – there will be things you are sacrificing like family/friend time or sleep. We know that if you have no work-life balance, you eventually won’t be too happy. But what people don’t talk about is if you’re working too hard and you’re too good at your job.
Here’s a list of four overlooked annoyances that no one tells you will happen when you’re working too hard.
- BEING VOLUNTEERED FOR PROJECTS
At first being volunteered for things could be a compliment. It shows that your manager believes you are highly capable of additional work/projects. The’ve recognized your ability to get shit done and they want YOUR help. However, keep taking on additional work and it can become a slippery slope. For example, shortly after starting at my current job I was being voluntold to teach a class and then I was leading an educational course. After taking on many additional projects on my own freewill – my manager recommended that I lead a transformation project for our department because she was “grooming me for a promotion.” (So did I really have a choice even though I had already volunteered to take on multiple project on my own? Not if I wanted a promotion.)
- BEING EXPECTED TO DO MORE
Just recently, I had a review with my manager and I told him how many hours me and my coworker had been putting in over the past few days. I told him how we needed another analyst to help us out because we we’re being stretched too thin. I said, “Yeah, we can get all the work done but it’s not quality work.” After telling me how the job I was doing is actually a higher banded role (aka way more pay!) he said, “Honestly, if you two weren’t doing so well it would be easier for me to sell that we need someone else.” I quickly responded with, “Yeah, we screwed ourselves.” So not only can you be expected to do more, you’re going to be expected to do more and not get paid for the added effort. Hopefully your job is different than mine, where more work equals higher pay. I recognize taking on more and doing more with less will help you prove your point that you have earned a raise when it comes to promotion time. However, where I’m at… the company tries to keep it “fair” based on how long you’ve been with the company. So someone who goofs off all day will get a pay bump at the same time as someone who is killing themselves. If this is the case at your job as well, don’t get discouraged. Just pivot your efforts into something that is meaningful and that you enjoy doing.
- BEING PROFESSIONALLY BLOCKED
This one is crazy! Some managers will not help move their good employees along. Why? Because the employee is making their life easier and is making them look good. In my current role – my coworker and I have the two jobs under control and there are rarely problems. Before us, management was constantly having to get involved. At the company I work for, it is common to have a role for one year and then move along to something new. My coworker has had this role for over 2 years and the manager is hesitant to move him anywhere (even though he’s clearly burnt out). I’ve had the role for over a year and I’ve expressed many times where I could like to work. However, where I would like to work is out of my managers department… and, not shockingly, he has not been helpful in getting me there. It makes sense that managers want to keep the good employees but it’s not always good for the employee or the company.
- BEING LESS PRODUCTIVE
Let’s turn away from the external challenges and look at what happens to ourselves when we work too hard. Sleep and social life may be affected but so will productivity. Have you ever noticed when you’re trying to hard at something? Like you know the answer but you can’t get to it because you’re forcing yourself to find it RIGHT now! My father has told me countless times that, “Sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and say F it!” However, having a Type A personality – it’s difficult for me to listen to that advice but when I do I’ve noticed things ALWAYS go smoother. Projects and tasks fall into place and people will respect you more. My previous officemate would watch Netflix literally the entire day but people thought she was the smartest, hardest worker around! I couldn’t figure it out but she had it down. Less f’s given is the way to go.
It’s strange how the harder you work, the more likely you are to get taken advantage of by others. You may find yourself being voluntold for projects, being expected to do more with less or being blocked professionally. The harder you work may also wind up negatively impacting your productivity. Sometimes getting out of your own way, throwing your hands up and saying “F it!” works in your favor.
Have you ever experienced anything similar? Has working your butt off or trying too hard ever wound up blocking you from what you’re actually trying for?