You are setting up a wrong standard in your working environment, and in your life.Let me share my personal experience to you. I have worked in a company where I had to replace an extremely hard-working guy who used to work from 9 AM to 11 PM, 6 days per week, before he finally resigned after 1.5 years. Not to mention that he often stayed overnight in the office to get his work done. I’m glad that he finally realized that his job had set up a bad standard in his personal life, if he even had any. Unintentionally, he had also set up the wrong standard in the working environment, which made me feel like I had to keep up with that standard to appear as a hard-working employee, too. According to my contract, I was supposed to work from 9 AM to 5 PM only, but even if I left the office at 6 PM, eyebrows would be raised upon me. After 4 months, I told myself, “F*ck this.” – I never regret the fact that I was sane enough to leave this kind of work place.
You think you’re being loyal to your company, but in fact you’re just letting it enslaving you.Think about it. Employment is supposed to be a mutual act of profit-giving. You give your time, energy, and skills to the company you’re working for. In return, the company will give you salary and other benefits such as health insurance, transportation or housing allowance, etc. All those earnings you make are rewards for you working based on the contract that has been agreed by two parties: you and the company. So, if you are doing an UNPAID OVERTIME, it means that you give out your time, energy, and skills for free without any compensation in return. Without the company being loyal back to you. Ironic, huh? But it’s true, though, what they said: In every kind of relationship, there is always one party that is more loyal than the other. The loyal one becomes a slave, willingly. Well, unless you get paid to work overtime, then it’s another story. But still, you should consider the other 9 reasons.
You are not using your time effectively.Let’s admit this. When you can’t finish your job on time, it just means that you suck at managing your working hours. Probably you spent too much time chit-chatting with your colleagues at lunch break? Or you were busy updating your soc-med accounts all the time? Or, even worse, you couldn’t say “NO” to your boss everytime he/she asked you to stay while it was already the time for you to go home? Well, that’s your problem. Whatever the reason is, you are not using your time effectively. Period.
- You’re taking responsibilities more than you deserve.
Overtime work is often caused by overloaded amount of tasks, need to be done by one single person. Maybe you think it’s cool to carry so many responsibilities, even the ones that were never there in your job description. Think again. I’ll give you an example. If it’s only you who have to do everything that you do, what happens when you want to take your annual leaves to go for some vacation with your beloved one(s)? There’s a big chance that your boss might not approve your leave request, because nobody can do your job while you’re away. You already got too much in your plate to hand it over to someone else. Congratulations then, for being so important.
- You get addicted to something damaging.
Working overtime is addictive. After once or twice you’ve done it, you will start thinking that it’s totally fine to do that. Moreover if you see your colleagues doing the same thing. I’m telling you, if a company has so many employees working overtime all the time, then there’s something wrong with its management. They probably push too few people to finish certain amount of tasks that should be done more effectively with more people in the team. They cut the budget for employee salaries. And you? You cut your quality of life to fulfill the company’s irrational targets.
- You are wasting so much time that could possibly be used for something more beneficial.
If you had left your office on time, you could have much more time to do so many other things before crashing in your bed. It could be doing your hobby, whatever it is. It could be visiting a family member that you had been ignoring for a while due to your ‘busy schedule’. It could have been meeting up with your college friends who missed you a lot. I have a friend who once requested for a salary increment to her boss, because she felt that she needed more income to pay her dues. The boss rejected her request. She then built her own business to support herself. She opened her own yoga studio and started earning more money by teaching her students. Never again she worked overtime the way she used to. Now she always leaves her office on time, to do something more beneficial outside her official working hours. Her boss couldn’t say a word. It’s her right to do that.
- You will sooner or later get a burnout.
Let me just copy the description from Wikipedia. Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). It has been proven that a serious burnout can cause a person to completely lose interest in his/her passion. If your current job is your passion, don’t let overtime work destroy your love for it.
- You are paying your rent, or bought your house, for almost nothing.
You rented or bought your living space to LIVE there. Use it to relax, to spend quality time with your family or friends, to enjoy your privacy. You didn’t rent or buy it just to keep your stuff there and let them rot slowly.
- You are neglecting people around you.
This is the saddest of all. I’m sure there has been at least one person in your life, complaining how you always worked overtime and didn’t have enough time to be with this particular person. Pay attention to this complaint. Some people outside your work place need you, too, but you were never there for them. Stop working overtime before it’s too late, before the people who missed you stop being there for you, too. If you don’t have anyone complaining about your overtime work, then maybe you should ask yourself why.
- You start losing yourself.
Not only you start losing the people you neglected around you, but you might start losing yourself, too. I had a lot of jobs when I was still in university. I could go to class in my campus in the morning, teach some students in a language school in the afternoon, broadcast some live radio programs in the evening, and have concert with my indie band in some local cafe/club in the night. What I love about my old jobs is that all of them were very organized and timely managed. Unlike my old jobs, I really felt that I lost a big part of myself in my last job. I always went back home late at night, was in bad mood most of the time, could only talk about how tiring my job is to my boyfriend (even though I freakin’ loved my job duties!), then fell asleep. I got no time to even listen to some music, something I normally always did on a daily basis, let alone doing my other hobbies… like blogging. Sigh. I spent my weekend sleeping because I already felt too exhausted during the weekdays. Luckily it was only a few months until I realized that something has gone completely wrong with my working life. It hugely affected my personal life, and also my health.
So, guys, it is definitely NOT COOL to work overtime. I’m writing all this, not because I never worked overtime. As you can see, it is because I used to work overtime, way too much. I don’t want to do that any longer. My former colleague was kind enough to give me an advice regarding this. She told me, that there is so much more in this world to explore, so don’t let your job suck your whole life.