My girlfriend has a rock star job in one of Sydney’s largest agencies and, on the surface, her job looks like a dream come true – fantastic remunderation package, terrific team, great clients and a stunning corner office.
BUT, her job also requires her to be ‘on’ at least twelve hourst a day. My girlfriend is often in the office from eight ‘til eight, five nights a week, and then she’s checking emails first thing in the morning, late at night and all weekend.
Now if she was 26 and thriving it would be fine. But she’s 46 and her adrenals are fatigued from years of working at this pace and juggling life as a single mother with an adolescent daughter who does elite sport and all that entails (read: private school fees, coaching costs and constant travel as well as the time and presence required to raise a teenager).
My girlfriend is torn. She knows she needs to make dramatic changes if she wants to create some sort of work/life balance, and avoid a chronic illness, but she is also acutely aware of the impact a less demanding job will have on her finances and her career prospects.
She has never been sicker than she has been in the last twelve months and the thought of another decade in a high profile job is exhausting to even think about – so what does she do?
My girlfriend is not the only one making big decisions at the moment and there’s no easy answer. But when asked for advice, the only answer I can honestly give is that we have to listen to our hearts, rather than our heads.
We have to ask ourselves if our energy genuinely goes up at the thought of going to work at a given job every day. Because if it doesn’t, it’s not worth the salary or social status. Do our relationships genuinely make us happy or are we treading water because we’re too fearful of making change? Are we living a life aligned with our values?
If not, we have to start taking tiny steps every day so that we start living a life where our energy does lift at the thought of our job, our relationships and our life.
Love to you all, Jxx