I spent some time over the last week or so thinking about what I would do if the ax falls at my place of employment. What did I come up with? Not what I'm doing now. That's saying something, right? Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my job, there are more highs than lows, but...I could walk away.
The thing is I long ago decided that I needed to focus on making sure I was satisfied OUTSIDE of work 'cause I am working for somebody and that could end with the flick of a pen. What does that mean?
Back at the beginning of my career I would wake up at night having panic attacks thinking about all I had to do, what mountains I had to move to deliver that A1 above-the-fold story the next day. Scared of failing. All that drama and stress and pressure and I wasn't even making enough money to live on my own! My parents had to supplement me (and thankfully I had parents who could and would)!
It was several years before I realized that my health and sanity were more important at the end of the day. From that point on I gave a good day's work for a good day's pay. I don't log on and check email at home. I don't check the BlackBerry unless I have a project in the works and there is a chance there could be a question or problem. When I leave work I don't think about it again until I get up the next day. I vacate when I go on vacation.
Now, that doesn't mean I don't get my work done OR that I don't do more than I'm asked OR that I leave my team hanging, however it DOES mean boundaries. Proper perspective.
Because -- and I think a lot of people have learned this lately -- no matter how great a job you do, no matter how many extra hours you put in, if your employer decides today is your last day, it will be. We are not owed employment.
So who among you is doing what they want to do RIGHT NOW? And how do you balance work and personal life?