Tuesday, 26 April 2011


When Paul requested Andrew for a coffee date, it was clear in Andrew’s mind that Paul must have been going through some kind of psychosocial challenges.
The tone with which he talked on phone was indicative of a friend experiencing difficult times. Andrew scheduled the meeting the following week to the delight of his friend.
True to his expectations, Paul was a man under pressure. ‘My job has taken away my life’ he told Andrew. The rest of the story is left to my narration.
Paul loved his job. He served the clients with great diligence and commitment and this led to his quick upward mobility. Within two years, he had moved from an officer’s position to a senior manager.
The promotions, however, came with challenges. Due to the tight deadlines and the ever increasing portfolios, leaving the office past 9pm was the norm rather than the exception. On several occasions, he had to work over the weekends and on public holidays.
By the time he called Andrew for a chat, he had for sure endured the pressure to the brim. He realised that he no longer had a life because of his job.
He rarely had time to interact with his wife and children as he left for work long before they woke up and returned home a fatigued man unable to engage in any activities with his family.
He was giving the rest of the world his best time and energies and leaving his family and friends with life’s crumbs. This state of affairs greatly worried him.
Paul is not alone in this experience. I have interacted with many workers who increasingly feel that their lives have been hijacked by their jobs.
The demands at work always push people beyond their initially imagined limits hence robbing the workers of their time and space. With higher targets being set every year and the expansion of both geographical coverage and types of products, employees are being pushed to the wall as they have to deliver the expected results.
The challenge, however, is what to do when one finds themselves in such a situation where he likes the job yet the job seems to be taking over his life. This is when one needs to re-examine his values and motivation for work.
Whoever developed the criteria that had a day divided into three 8-hour blocks for sleep, work and socialising had considered the best balance for life. Whenever someone’s job eats into the sleep and socialising territories, there is need to evaluate whether the job is building or destroying the employee’s life.
People who are able balance all the three key spheres are the ones who are deemed to be successful. They do well at work, have a full social life and find adequate time to relax and re-energise their systems. 

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