I recently watched a brutally honest video report by my friend Robert Leger. His video is generating some waves in our mograph community, for good reason. I’ll post it here, but can sum it up quickly. Robert found himself in the situation where he was commuting 2 hours a day, working days, nights, weekends and holidays trying to keep up with his deadlines. He missed many of his new babies “firsts” and was relegated to watching his child and wife via Skype. A pretty heartbreaking situation. His immune system literally shut down and he had to have surgery and was incredibly sick because of the stress and pressure.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot. This seems to be more and more common, especially in our industry. We are being swept up in the pressures and speed of our world and are being gutted, cleaned out and washed up by our thirties. This is pretty disconcerting for all of us. So the question is, how are we supposed to make this career a long term game, not just a sprint to the burned out premature finish line where we are forced out because we simply can’t do it anymore.
For me my relief is nature. Camping, fishing, getting away, leaving the cell phone at home. I just got back from a week long canoeing adventure and feel much refreshed. I think it’s incredibly important for each of us to find the thing that recharges us and make sure we don’t forgo it because of the pressure of our job. Our longevity and career depend on it.
So I have some questions for you to answer in the comments:
1. Do you feel like you’re in the same boat as Robert?
2. How many hours do you usually work a week (I work about 50-60 a lot of the year).
3. What can you do to avoid a devastating, tail spinning burn out? Take a vacation? Find a new job? Ask to work from home to avoid commuting hours? (I turn off the computer/cell phone and go into nature).
Whatever it is, make it happen. Stand up for yourself and figure it out. Our work is important and it defines a lot of us, but there is more to life than our careers. I would love to hear your input!