How hard should you work? How long should you stay in the office every day? Is it ok to leave the office at 5.30 or will the boss be disappointed with your level of commitment if you do?
We all know the importance of working hard but do we want to be chained to our desks? Everyone strives for the perfect work/life balance in their lives. Everyone understands that you have to put a lot of effort into your work but how much is enough? This is actually a very common reason that people want to leave their jobs. Working 12 hours every day isn’t fun!
People working at media agencies often have this hanging over their heads. Demanding clients require a lot of effort and it is not unusual to hear of people staying in the office til 10pm! This can create a lot of unhappiness in the workplace.
However, if this is the only reason that you want to leave your job, have a think if this will change your next position. Often frustrated planner/buyers who spend too much time in the office feel that if they left the agency world and went over to the client side the work/life balance will be much improved. That, unfortunately, is not always the case. Working on the client side can be just as demanding, if not more!
There are certain steps you can take to help alleviate the pressure.
First of all, have a chat with your boss and see what can be done to ease your workload. It could be that your team is under resourced and you are doing the job of two people. It could be a case that some of your colleagues are not pulling their weight. If this is the case you should have a conversation with them and see if you can help them improve their performance.
You should also have a look at your own performance and determine if you are being as productive as possible. Try and prioritise your work and see if by planning your day more effectively you can be out of the office earlier. Effective time management can save hours during the week!
Changing jobs may not always be the best solution to improving work/ life balance. As stated earlier, everyone knows the importance of hard work and there is acceptance that some days you will have to work long hours. If you go to a new company are there any guarantees that the hours will be better? In fact it could be worse. If you want to change jobs you should have better reasons for leaving than having to work too hard. Future employers will see this as a bad reason and will be reluctant to employ someone with this attitude. Think about other factors: career progression, salary, continual skills development and how well you get on with your team. These are the reasons potential employers want to hear as reasons for changing jobs.