Overtime is a word that has become ingrained in my vocabulary. For almost a year and a half I have been doing regular overtime at my 9 to 5 job to cover staff shortages and increases in work load. For me the experience has been both positive and negative. In my workplace overtime can be taken as either money or time off. This was an obvious benefit for me as it has allowed me to start pursuing my own interests. In a way it has given me a glimpse into the freedom and flexibility that I desire. However, I don’t forget that in order for me to obtain this relatively small reward I have to give more time and energy to a company rather than to myself. On many occasions this has lead me to be more tired and stressed at times.
My stress levels where not helped by the knowledge that my extra working hours were being met with some resistance from senior management. A colleague of mine, who also does regular overtime, informed me that some managers were questioning the amount of overtime people in the company were doing. It’s no secret that the company I work for is trying to save money so of course looking at the extra money being paid out to employees was to be expected. When my colleague mentioned it to me my first thought was a lack of appreciation I felt that the management had towards us. Here I am doing this additional work to support my team and the only concern of the management is how much money is being paid out in overtime.
If this experience has taught me anything it is that I have to take care of my own interests first. A lot of traditional companies simply do not have their employees’ best interests at heart. I had to ask myself the question do I really want to work in a conventional 9 to 5 job for the next 30 years. My answer was a definite no and I am now taking action towards pursuing a life where I am free from the 9 to 5. I want to create an environment for myself where I am excited about what I am doing. I do not want to feel overworked and under valued. I believe there are more opportunities than ever to build a lifestyle that works for you rather than go to a job that does not work.
Always remember that you are a valuable asset.