blog image


September 05, 20235 min read


Before you complain about being asked to work an extra hour today, think about this: There are worse things. Like:

  • Emptying the dishwasher. Maybe if you work later someone else will do that. (Sure)

  • Saying no and then getting stuck in a 20 minute construction jam that makes you sorry you didn’t say yes.

  • Having to complete the next task on “the list” which is gathering all the canned goods you have stockpiled, along with any expired emergency can goods, and getting rid of them.  

  • What do you do with them????  Empty the twenty cans and wash them????  No.No.No. Stay late.

  • You could be cleaning out the refrigerator. Of course we all know that’s the easy part. The hard part is emptying the containers and washing them. And not throwing the jars that are ¾ empty into the recyclables. That’s why they are almost empty. No one wants to wash the salsa jars and ketchup bottles out. So leave it to the “other person” And you know you are that person.

  • That fish tank is not looking good. Are you up for it? Because no one else is!

  • Being asked to come in an hour early.

  • Never being asked to work late or come in early but others are. Hmm, are you expendable or do they not want you to burn out?

  • Getting a flat tire in rush hour in the middle of a snowstorm or severe thunderstorm. (vs. getting the flat tire but after the storm is over and the traffic has died down. AND the boss actually thanked you!

If you are salaried, working late may be about recognition, getting the work done on time, and hoping your salary increases. If you are paid hourly, working late has its incentives. You may be saving for a house downpayment, a car, or a vacation. It makes extra hours more palatable when there is a direct and positive result that you receive every week or two. Seeing the extra money and putting it aside is an inspiration to keep going. You know there is the big reward at some point. And you will have a lot of support if you are working for the good of “others”  as well as yourself. Let it be well  known that your late hours are the reason they will be enjoying a new home, car, or vacation!  Maybe you’ll even have a nice hot dinner and a back rub when you get home. You never know.

But really, when does working late become a real problem? If you are a parent of a baby or young child, everyday you work late can be a big problem. Day care wise or personally wanting to get home and be a part of that child’s life before bedtime. With an older child it can be just as important. Sometimes more so. Even if they complain, eating dinner together is a bonding experience they will always have. And it’s a great time to touch base with each other; if there are no phones. (Parents are equally guilty.)

Older family members forget how nice it is to talk face to face, making each other smile and laugh. Or maybe help solve a problem. Don’t let the dogs on the TV ads be the only ones talking. (“Did you see my tail when the Chewy Box was delivefred?” and “I went for a walk in the park today and didn’t get a single flea or tic on me! I’m great!”  “Yes you are great! “) Anyway, as long as you’re communicating and not fighting (much), you’re making memories for later on. Even if the dogs get more attention. 

A single parent has it a lot harder. Maybe they would love to work overtime but child care costs skyrocket even higher for late pick ups. And staying an hour or two later? Dinner, dishes, homework, baths, showers, getting ready for tomorrow. Oh my gosh, what time is it? It’s a hard time when the the house gets up at five thirty or six. Or maybe you are caring for an older adult in your home. Or you have three dogs. How much can you expect from them?

The point is, you are really needed at home! 

Situations and needs change all the time throughout life and sometimes we have to be flexible. Life is easier when we accept that. A generation or two ago family and extended family helped watch the children but not many have that option anymore. That does make working and supporting your family more complicated. We have reached the point where two jobs in the family is often not enough. Is good, healthy food a luxury?  Does unexpected dental work or car repairs mean taking on a second job? Even if it does, it can be very temporary. But it doesn’t mean you should give up the time you need to reset your life. Your body and mind need to reboot every so often in order to work the way you need and want to, and handle today's economic challenges.

It was so hard filling positions a few years ago that employers had to face the fact that these were not excuses, they were important life situations.They know that because they face the same circumstances. And decisions must be made.The difference is, the ones on the higher end of the pay scale have a huge advantage. They can pay for home care or away from home services. The rest have the responsibility on themselves.  It is two different worlds. 

Americans work very hard for their vacations. In the other first world countries vacations or holidays are fitted into every industry. Up to now, if you live in Europe, you look forward to planning your holiday for six weeks. That’s the way it works. The happiest countries in the world place an extremely high value on their time off from work. 

So work late, take a vacation to Scandinavia, England, Italy, Spain, or Netherlands and find out how it works! Or just go for an old fashioned road trip. Figure out how to make the best of your life! If something needs to be changed, change it.  If it can’t be changed, change yourself.   Remember though, always for that next step in your career!

blog author image

Stephanie Sharpe

Back to Blog
ideapros cetified
Bongo Jobs