Post 7 – Working Mum Mini-Series
I’ve spoken recently about personally finding a work-life balance moving forward. But for this article, I’m interested in exploring why people go to work every day.
What motivates you to apply for a job? Have an early night to meet your 6 am alarm? Travel for an hour to get to work each day? Start a business and work for yourself.
I was surprised to learn it’s not always money motivating an individual to go to work each day. Let’s explore some of the motivations.
Some people are motivated by money and this is completely okay. It depends on your personality. There is no avoiding the fact we all need money to live, especially now, in a cost-of-living crisis. However, money doesn’t have to be the main motivation for the role you currently do.
I’ve taken a pay cut twice before. Once in the past to cut down on traveling time and recently to avoid stress and burnout.
Chill-out days are an essential part of a self-care routine, but ever felt more tired from doing nothing? Being busy inspires a sense of motivation to keep going and get more done.
It’s about finding a healthy balance between the two.
Sense of achievement
We all love doing a great job. That sense of satisfaction when you cross things off your to-do list or clean the house from top to bottom. Maybe you declutter and sell things on a second-hand marketplace? Work from home and get through a lot in one sitting, with no distractions.
Whatever ‘sense of achievement’ means to you. Doing this regularly is great for well-being.
Sense of belonging
During the pandemic, we all missed contact with our work employees. It allowed us to appreciate the interaction we have with other people daily. Socialising can be an important part of someone’s work life. y enjoy having one day a week in the office.
Helping other people
In setting up my blogs, the main motivation was to help people. The reality is, it’s taken me a long time to make any money at all. There was always more than just this motivation pushing me along. If one or all three of my blogs never made money, I would still be satisfied that I had helped other people out there.
I’ve also volunteered my time in the past and organized charity events. None of which provided a financial reward. But to me, the reward of helping other people was much more satisfying.
The all-important work-life balance
I would say, a work-life balance has to be individual to the person in question. When I was single and living alone, I enjoyed my fast-paced, high-stress career. I also had free time to socialize with my work colleagues and immerse myself in the full “career” experience. Inevitably when you have a child, your priorities change. My perfect work-life balance is now about pursuing a fairly challenging role but also having time to spend at home with my little girl.
Ultimately, from a mental health perspective, we should all be aiming for the below:
- Meeting your deadlines at work while still having time for friends and hobbies
- Having enough time to sleep properly and eat well
- Not worrying about work when you’re at home
I will be honest and say that during the height of my financial career, I didn’t have many periods when these were consistently done. I learned the hard way how important it is to look after yourself.
Tips on managing work stress
Value yourself and your time
I am personally thankful to be in a much better place mentally. Which may result in me taking on more responsibilities. But only because I work for a supportive company and there are boundaries.
Due to a lack of self-confidence and anxiety issues, it never occurred to me before to say no. I was a bit of a people pleaser and spent far too much time at work. Yes, I was rewarded financially. But this never made me happy. I had to spend that money to destress and surely that defeats the purpose. It certainly isn’t what I would call a work-life balance.
Until next time
I would like the takeaway from this post to be the following:
Realize that your time and energy are precious
Make sure the role you are applying for is suitable for your needs
Do you want to be associated with or work for a company with specific values
What would be a deal breaker and result in you saying no to a job offer?
Could you see yourself happy in this role?