Work Exists To Support Life Outside Of Work
As an employee, you are selling your time to your employer for some agreed-upon compensation.
It should not be a controversial statement to say that your responsibilities are confined to your work hours. That is the deal.
By choosing to work long hours, you are indeed making your employer very happy, because they are getting a great discount in how much work they can get out of how much it costs to pay you. That should not be the rule of how work in conducted.
Of course, by choosing to work “regular work hours”, you are most likely closing the door to be more quickly promoted, to getting the “hard worker” recognition from management, and so many other “nice-to-have's”.
But is the alternative worth it? Are you willing to disturb your piece of mind during your personal free time to fulfill some “business need”? Or should the work itself be adjusted to accommodate the available work hours?
Should the business deprive itself of more pursuits than the available headcount can accommodate or should you deprive yourself of your well-earned personal time?
By the title of this article, you should already know my answer.
Of course, this is not the same answer for everyone. You should seek your own answer for yourself and seek your fulfillment, whether you can find it outside or inside of work.
My goal by writing this is to stop normalizing “long work hours” as some badge of honor, but to stop and think if that was a truly though out choice, or something that came outward and one just “played along with it”.
Of course, keeping in mind your job security, if you are not providing infinite availability, you should be providing something else to the business: technical excellence, commitment, unique skills and knowledge.
If you are unequivocally bringing more value to the business than you are costing, your job is secure.
I just think that life is too unique and too precious to spend the little free time you have in your adult life seeking “business goals” and “career goals” when you know that won't fulfill you.