We have become accustomed to being constantly “on”. Even when we are not at work, we are connected to work. Thinking about work, worrying about work, using social media for work, checking emails, the list is endless. But how long can people sustain this kind of lifestyle? Surely, it is bound to have an effect sooner or later. I am aware that certain careers demand this more than others and it’s a choice you make, but I have to question if it is worth it.
Although not sure how and why our society has developed the way it has I do believe there is massive pressure from society to conform. Society has deemed certain career paths more successful than others and should someone dare to break the mould there is an unspoken judgement, not from everyone of course, but it is there. The supposed appropriate lifestyle includes college, (even among universities there is an unspoken snobbery), graduating and entering some large successful company only to work your way up and pull in as high a salary as possible, get married, get the mortgage and have children. But what if that’s not what you want? and for plenty of people it’s not, some who I don’t think even realise it but because it has been drilled into us that is what “success” is then we start to believe that is what we have to do. This has become so engrained in us we start to feel that anything less might make you a failure which is ridiculous.
Yet on a daily basis many people find themselves stressing out about work. It has led me to now try and live by the title of this piece, something my brother said years ago.. work to live, don’t live to work. Our lives should be balanced. Work should assist our lives, not consume it. When you look at the levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues in this country you would have to wonder in how many cases is it avoidable by something as simple as not having to stress about work all the time. I am by no means claiming that it is black and white, people have responsibilities that mean sometimes working in a stressful job is necessary but if you don’t have to,then don’t. Do what you love and if you can make that your career then it’s a bonus but the ultimate aim is to enjoy what you do.