I’ve said before that our work is a medium for life. You’re either in the public sector, the private sector, sports, or entertainment. What we do makes up a big part of who we are. That’s not to say we should live to work, but when we work to live and spend a huge amount of hours focused on our occupation, it has a huge impact on who we are.
Addressing an outdated perception
You can live an extremely fulfilled life through your work. It can shape our self-concept, and it helps grow us into who we want to be. There’s a narrative around work that needs to be unlearned, and that is work-life balance.
There was a time when we could shut work down and focus on our family at home, and a time we could leave the personal stuff at home and put on our professional masks at work. The release of the iPhone in 2007 made us all complicit in the slow breakdown in the separation between personal life and professional life.
We expect to be connected at all times, which means there is no balance anymore because the lines are much more blurred today. You can’t separate work and personal life into two separate things.
Medium of the hybrid workplace. In businesses with a strong positive culture that don’t lead from a top-down mindset, people can be out from under direct supervision while they work. They can be gone from the workplace completely as long as they are checking in. For many, the ability to put down work and pick it back up is more effective. People are often putting in even MORE hours of work when they are given the flexibility to work from home or in a hybrid situation.
Your work not only provides for your family, but it should also be an essential part of how you live your existence. Your work should represent who you are and what you value.
Years ago, people would go to a job they hated to provide for their families. They’d stay for decades until retirement and then live the life they’d hoped for. Some people still do, and many never grow out of that. Today, that’s seen as a reflection of your mental health and headspace.
Work eats up a huge part of your life. But there is the opportunity now to approach a job you’re not happy with and use it to position yourself to move forward. Working on yourself to improve every day.
Work provides the opportunity for more training, more self-improvement, and more experience to promote your evolution. It’s not about where you’re going; it’s about who you’re becoming. Because you are compensated for your work, you should ensure it supports the best version of you. If you can internalize and grow yourself, then your world becomes bigger and better.
Working on yourself while you’re working is smart. And while it may feel selfish- you are lifting others while you’re lifting yourself. You’re setting an example and blazing a trail for others. You are affecting others positively. When you work on bettering yourself, it lifts others- both at work and in your daily life.