If you're familiar with terms like 'rise and grind' and 'hustle harder' then you might be interested in some words that Amy on our team has written about hustle culture. Is it the be all and end all of life, or is it really not all that? Read on to find out...
Stop the hustle.
I am not a fan of hustle culture.
No, I will not ‘rise and grind’. Nor will I ‘hustle harder’. I’ll do my 8:30-5 then log off, thank you very much.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hard worker. I’m not advocating for doing a bad job for your employer or being lazy, I just think it’s incredibly important that we put our working lives into perspective. Work isn’t all that we are. Our employers don’t define us.
We all know that it’s getting harder and harder to switch off thanks to social media. We’re bombarded with targeted ads and brand messaging, we’re presented with interviews from the world’s ‘most successful’ celebrities and businesspeople, or we’re simply witness to our peers and colleagues being promoted, starting their fifth new side project of the year, or boasting about how hard they work.
That’s good for them, but what about those of us who just want to quietly do their job and go home? It’s hard not to compare your level of success to the people who seem to be shooting for the stars 24/7.
I love Clearbox, but I’m also very protective of my time. Weekends and evenings are sacred (especially when my husband and I are off at the same time), and if Jonny’s not off, then I’m spending time with my family and friends, giving time to my other commitments, or just doing things that I enjoy - no surprises there.
I’m also a hard worker. I think it’s very important to do a good job and show up to your commitments. But my 8:30-5 at Clearbox isn’t the only thing I have going on, so I want to have the headspace and energy to give these other things as much energy as they deserve. There’s plenty of room in my life to be committed to my career and not comprise everything else that I enjoy.
I’d love to know why it feels taboo to say that. Am I less of an employee for setting certain boundaries? I don’t think so.
I also want to say that if you enjoy pushing yourself in your career, then good for you! If you love a side hustle and get a buzz from jumping project to project, then keep at it. It was amazing just how many people made businesses out of their hobbies during lockdown, and I really am in awe of people’s ability to turn what they love into careers (like our client HillView Prints!). But when the rat race comes ahead of the rest of your life, it might be time to revaluate.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always find it easy to switch off either. During busy periods at work I do have a tendency to take a sneaky look at my emails before bed (what I’m expecting to need to deal with urgently at 11pm I don’t quite know) or spend my evening distracted by the thought of my tasks for the following day. But for the most part, my boundaries are set.
There is no shame in not working every hour of the day. If you feel stressed and overstretched, take a time out. Take a few days off. Don’t comprise who you are just to prove that you’re the best employee a company has ever seen. I promise you’re worth more than that.
Put your phone away during dinner, go to the beach without worrying that someone needs you, just switch off. Let’s stop glamourising workaholism with language like ‘girl bossing’. I promise you’re doing just fine by just showing up and giving it your best during your working hours.
Here endeth the lesson.