I recently read an article from Jennifer Moss in the Harvard Business Review talking about the danger of doing a job that you love.
Now, this sounds counter intuitive but bear with me. As Moss identifies, the old quote of ““if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” is something of a myth. I love my job, but that means that I may spend longer working than someone who doesn’t love their job so much.
My passion for developing people, helping them to be the best version of themselves and build their confidence can sometimes feel that my work never ends. There is always something I could be doing – an interesting article to read, a new programme to develop, an idea I have to grow the business all mean that I could work 24 hours a day!
Whilst I get a huge buzz out of my job, there are times when I find work overwhelming, frustrating and exhausting. I often find when coaching that my clients are feeling the same way, yet I cannot say to them “I know exactly how you feel” (how unprofessional would that be!).
It is a classic case of not practicing what I preach – my advice to people feeling the same would be to indulge in some self care, take time out to do the things that you love and be with those people that make you happy. Yet, when I try to take time out for myself, I often have an overwhelming sense of guilt about all the things I should be doing.
At this time of year, with lots of people going off on their summer breaks, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on how we work and whether we need to make changes. And for leaders, it is important to be a role model to others in your team and organisation.
So this year, with my own break coming up, I am determined to take a more balanced approach to work on my return. Wellbeing is such an important topic, and self-care means taking time out to recharge the batteries on a regular basis, not simply once a year when the summer holidays come round.
My plan is to schedule time out in my diary for “me time” rather than seeing how many things I can squeeze into my day and to not feel guilty when doing so. I am aware that if I want to continue in the job I love, it need to take time to enjoy it. Wish me luck!