Work Ethic vs Balance

6 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
My job description

There are two conflicting stereotypes about Irish work ethic. Are the Irish proud craftsmen or shiftless layabouts? Yes.

Lately, I've been working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. I used to work 30 hours a week. I had time to go to the gym, write, volunteer, and be silly with my kids. 

Suddenly, our company is in a period of massive growth and we've lost a key person.  The company's growth is now a direct reflection of how many hours I work. I am exhausted, stressed, and thrilled. This is all very Irish. 

The corporate grind can work your soul to a nub. The Irish embrace the need to feed your soul. If there's an important call to action (like feeding your family, political justice, or saving a company you believe in) the Irish work passionately. If it's a daily grind to pay bills and there's no passion in it, the Irish take a lot of tea and smoke breaks. Irish customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Work/life balance isn't a new concept to the Irish.

Reaction to boss texting at  midnight.

On Irish Work Ethic
Unwillingness easily finds an excuse
Slow is every foot on an unknown path
You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind
Lose an hour in the morning and you’ll be looking for it all day
A combed head sells the feet
Laziness is a heavy burden
A bad workman quarrels with his tools
You won’t learn to swim on the kitchen floor
It’s a dirty bird that won’t keep its own nest clean
Many a sudden change takes place on an unlikely day
Poverty waits at the gates of idleness
If your messenger is slow, go to meet him
Keep your job and your job will keep you

What does CNNs work/life balance calculator tell you? Nothing. You know whether or not you are spending enough time with your passion. If what you're passionate about is your work and you're achieving your work goals, your life is perfectly balanced. If all you can think of at work is how much you miss your kids, art, music, pet, travel, lover, education, sport, whatever then you already know your life is out of balance. 

I suggest something un-American. If your life is out of balance, cut expenses to make time for what you love.     Let it simmer in the back of your mind - if you could have plenty of time to do what you love, would you trade your cell for an older model, live in a smaller house, drive an older car? 



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