You spend a substantial portion of your life at work. Why not make that time as professionally and personally rewarding and fulfilling as possible? You have nothing to lose, and potentially a great deal to gain, by spending time exploring your interests, values, and options. I believe you really, ought to want to love what you do at work.
You Work Long Hours: Invest Them in Work You LoveThe average American manager works 42 hours per week, but a substantial number of managers and professionals - three in 10, or 10.8 million people - work 49 or more hours per week. Of male managers and professionals, four in 10 work 49 hours.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2000 report, this number of working hours is substantially unchanged since 1989. More managers and professionals are working over 49 hours, but more are also working less which keeps the number steady.
Comparatively, the hours that people work in non-supervisory or production jobs have steadily declined since the early 1960s in all categories except manufacturing, construction, and mining. In these jobs, hours have increased, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Labor Review, July 2000.
While the overall trend in working hours is down, with the average non-supervisory or production employee working 34.5 hours in 1999 as compared to 38.7 in 1964, this figure is skewed by workers in services and especially retail, who are working substantially fewer hours.
Remember, too, that these hours do not include time spent dressing for work or commuting. Getting to and from work can add an additional five to 20 hours to your work week. So, when you consider all of the time you spend related to work, you are working long hours.
You Feel as if You Are Working HarderManagers and professionals perceive that they are working harder. Combine the extra hours relating to work with the actual hours worked, and a substantial portion of your week is filled. The pace of the modern work place is stressful. With most spouses and partners working and two schedules to balance with the needs of the family, life, in general, is stressful.
Technology inventions allow you to communicate with work twenty-four hours a day if needed. With email, cell phones, laptops, and PDAs, is it any wonder that you feel as if you are working all the time? Even if you're not, you have the constant potential to fill every waking hour with work.
A Gallup Management Journal Survey summary reports that nearly one-fifth of workers are actively disengaged, or disconnected from their work. These workers have high absenteeism and are less happy with their personal and professional lives.
According to the report, "Gallup has calculated that they are penalizing U.S. economic performance by about $300 billion, or about the size of the nations defense budget." These attendance and dissatisfaction issues make work longer, harder, and more stressful for the remaining workers.
Additionally, in many work places fewer people are doing more work as workers are not replaced when they leave or retire. In other organizations, finding qualified staff remains problematic, especially in areas relating to engineering and other technical careers.
Solutions to Ensure That You Love Your WorkNow that I've convinced you that you're working long hours and working hard, why not follow this prescription for making sure you love your work. If you're going to work this hard, your work must be something you love. You need to take some career exploration steps to find work that you really love.