FairyGodBoss, a great resource for jobs and employer reviews for women in business just published this piece I wrote, 3 Times You Shouldn’t Tell Someone They’re Working Too Hard.
Last year, the Washington Post ran a compelling piece titled, “Stop Touting the Crazy Hours You Work. It Helps No One.” It features a prominent picture of then-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who is often derided for the long hours she puts in and her expectations of others.
Let’s ponder what it means to work hard and whether it’s “worth it.”
First, there is no such male poster boy for long hours. Men are rarely bashed for working too hard. To be fair, Donald Trump is mentioned in the article for his long hours and lack of need for sleep. Personally, if I had a superpower, and I’ve said this over and over in my life, it would be to need less sleep.
The article references Mayer’s statement about her ability to judge a startup’s chances for success by whether people are working on the weekends. As any of us who have started successful businesses will tell you, the leaders and early movers have to be ready, willing and able to work hours that are as long as they can bear. Work-life balance is super, but when you’re trying to build or create something, your priorities must shift.
In addition to speaking, training and authoring books on business strategy, I manage clients as a marketing consultant. Within the past couple of years, I started a real estate investment venture. I’ve written two books on tight deadlines while managing client engagements and traveling to speak. But I’m not making this about me. I’m not going to exasperate you with tales of my long, caffeine-fused hours, about desiring sleep that wouldn’t come except for a few short naps until the project is finished or the deadline is reached.
I believe that you can either talk about working hard or you can work hard. Not both.