Lauren Marinigh

Why I Leave Every Day at 5pm and Why You Should Too!

By Lauren | July 27, 2015 | 0 Comment

Before I get started on writing this piece, I will admit that I am a Millennial. Maybe because of that, my work-life balance is quite different from other generations, but shockingly, I know many people of different generations that are like me, and several people from my generation that aren’t. So don’t be quick to point fingers, and blaming my lifestyle choice on being a Millennial before you read on.

I have always been a believer in work-life balance, and I don’t think I really realized it until someone pointed out to me that I was great at equally managing the two. In my early years of my career, I didn’t quite realize how important work-life balance was to me. I’d stay till 8pm for meetings when I worked in a college environment, and late nights when I was helping out at events in my internship, but I didn’t really think much about it, because it was part of the expectations of my job. I still believe in this. There are times of the year that our work is so busy, and everyone is staying late, so if I need to, I will too. But on an average workday, I’m out of there at 5pm, and here’s why…

I don’t want my life to be work

Part of having a good work-life balance is actually having a life. When you don’t care about spending time with your friends, going to the gym, seeing your family, or having time for yourself, that’s often when you end up working late at night. My life isn’t all about work. I go to work between 9-5, and hardly think about it outside of that. I know for most people this is tough, but when you have other things to occupy your time, you’ll realize it can be pretty easy to separate the two. If it’s not required of you to be plugged in 24 hours a day, why would you be? You can still show commitment to work during 9-5, in fact, you’ll probably be more on the ball and productive if you stick to working regular hours.

I don’t get paid overtime

Sometimes you are going to have to work overtime, it’s a given in any job, but to work overtime every single night without pay or the ability to bank those hours for extra vacation, seems silly to me. When working on a salary, you more than likely don’t have the ability to be paid or bank these overtime hours, and although money isn’t everything, at the same time, I know my value. My time is valuable, and if I wouldn’t work from 9-5 for free, why would I work from 6-8 for free?

My happiness is important

If you want me to be happy at work, I’m going to need time away from work. We already spend the majority of our life in an office, so my evenings and weekends are what keep me sane, and a good employee. I put my happiness first, and although my career is a huge part of my life, and I believe in working hard, giving up the things outside of work that make me happy just wouldn’t be okay with me.

Now this may seem a bit bold, and I’m sure some people are thinking, “well if you love your job, it won’t feel like work.” I do love my job, but whether or not it feels like work, it is work. Now I work in a non-profit environment, and I always have. I realize when people choose the path of an agency; you don’t really have any choice on working overtime hours, because you more than likely will. I’ve purposely chosen a career path that allows me to have a life, so I have time for the other things (outside of work) that I enjoy. I realize that my career path may not always allow for this, and I’m open and okay with that, but while I have the ability to leave at a normal hour every day, I’m going to take full advantage of it!

Check out this interesting infographic about work-life balance by Advise America. 

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