Thursday, June 20, 2013

A "Workaholic" in Action

It's been a busy few days. On top of my usual full docket of career counseling clients, writing my weekly AOL article and weekly article, giving a talk to 100 people at Experience Unlimited, and responding to tons of email, I was on five radio shows, mainly questioning whether work-life balance is a goal we all should strive for.

Indeed work-life-balance activists would label me "out of balance" and a "workaholic," evoking comparison to "alcoholic," addicted to something bad.

In fact, it's all been inordinately energizing. And amid it all, I found time to garden, play the piano, hike every day with my doggie Einstein, help my 88-year-old mom, and hang out with my wife. I will admit I didn't spend any time watching TV, playing golf, etc.

In case you'd like to listen, here are the radio shows I've been on since Sunday:

Of course, I was on my own show (NPR-San Francisco) which I devoted to raising questions about three career "truths."

KGO's (ABC-San Francisco) Ronn Owens Program is among the most listened-to on the West Coast. Talkers magazine named Ronn Owens one of the 25 Greatest Talk Show Hosts of All Time. Monday, I appeared on his show for about my 100th time. The interview was an hour long and covered such topics as: When it is and isn't wise to follow your passion, the pros and cons of for-profit vs. non profit careers, and colleges that still are accepting applications for the fall. HERE is the link.

Also, on Monday, I was on WHYY (NPR-Philadelphia) for an hour questioning whether work-life balance is a goal all people should strive for. I argued that, for example, the clerk who spends workweek hours 40-50 ensuring that everyone is paid promptly should not be denigrated as a workaholic but praised as a hard worker or even a hero. I also explained why shorter hours may not address the real reason people are stressed at work. HERE is an excerpt.

Today, I was on the CBC (Canada's NPR) for an hour, also talking about the whether we are too universally extolling work-life balance and unfairly labeling hard workers with the term "workaholic." The host pretty much took the other side. I leave it to you to decide if I held my own.  HERE is the link to that hour.

And as I mentioned in the previous post, today I offered very basic job-search advice to teens on NPR's Marketplace HERE is the link.

I hope you find these audio recordings useful and maybe even vaguely entertaining.


IT Careers said...

Nice post, thanks for the posting, keep posting..

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure where to post this question. And so I hope you don't mind I use this forum. Basically, I'm frustrated by your post about work ethic. The reason being is the following.

Currently, I'm really unhappy at work because I don't have enough to do. I used to work long hours (evening, weekends) at my job and was included in several meetings. I felt a strong sense of responsibility and was engaged in the work and the company. But a change in manager has caused me to be sidelined. My work is very un-stimulating and unrewarding. I'm afraid to ask for more work because I know I'll just be given bottom of the barrel types of things to do.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to start my own business on the side, using evenings and weekends. This is what gives me the most enjoyment because I have control and I'm learning so much. But the business isn't at the point where I'm able to quit and do that full-time.

Do you think it's wrong of me to use work time to advance my side business? I'm fulfilling all of my employer work responsibilities and I know those obligations come first. I feel guilty doing so, but is it wrong of me to use this down-time for my own purposes? Thanks for listening.

Marty Nemko said...

It does strike me that if you're doing all you're supposed to and there really is nothing more you could reasonably be doing, then it seems ethical to be spending some time working on your biz.


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