Quite recently my boss turned around and asked me a very “deep” question. He asked, “So Nitten, Do you think about work after work?” In my typical nonchalant way answered, “Nope. I switch off work mode the moment I swipe out.” The response was one that surprised me to the core. He said, “Now that is the problem!! A truly committed guy would be thinking about the job all the time and be stressed about it.” I was left speechless.
I started countering my making the most obvious statements.
- Company does not pay me for 24 hours.
- I have to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- I need to invest in my family and myself as well and not just the company etc. etc.
This conversation however got me thinking… WHEN DOES A PERSON THINK ABOUT HIS JOB ALL THE TIME?
After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that it is in only 3 scenarios that an employee will start thinking of their job all the time. Unfortunately or fortunately I do not fit into either 3, so I guess I do not have to. The 3 reasons why you could be thinking of your job all the time are
This is an extremely positive situation to be in. When you are passionate about your job, it robs you of your sleep, makes you wonder and experiment, makes you look for inspiration everywhere and invariably robs you off your sleep. The so called stress that it brings you is somehow pleasurable and is the thing that drives you keep going at it. No matter how long or how hard it may be.
Now this is not to be confused with Passion. While on one hand, passion is an extremely positive and creative emotion; Obsession, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. Passion builds you and takes you forward while Obsession manages to eat into your system and stops you from making any progress whatsoever. Obsession tends to “rob” you of your sleep unlike passion which makes you “fight” sleep.
It becomes very difficult to distinguish between Passion and Obsession as both of them are quite powerful and similar. There is however a simple way to know if you are Passionate or Obsessed. Ask yourself the question, “Are you happy?” People who are Passionate will surely say yes while the obsessed ones will not be able to say they are.
The third and the most common of the reasons why a lot of us tend to think about our jobs all the time is one that is highly disturbing. Most companies tend to feed on this reason to keep employees hooked and converting them into modern day slaves. That is:
A modern employee is subject to this emotion in the workplace more than ever in history. This is particularly true if you are working in a country in which you are not a citizen. The laws make it almost impossible to stay on in that country without a source of income. In many cases your legality to stay is directly connected to your employer. This is one of the main reasons you find stressed out individuals who cannot think of anything apart from their job or in other words they are constantly afraid of getting fired. This is extremely unhealthy as neither will you be able to show results, but it also just destroys you as a person.
In short, I realised that if you do not fall into either of the 2 latter categories, you should consider yourself blessed and be proud of the fact that you can switch from work mode to life mode when the situation demands. This ensures a happy healthy life that you will look forward to during your retirement days.
On a side note, if you never felt yourself to be in the 1st category i.e. passion in your career so far; you definitely need to do some soul searching. You might be a passive member of the fear category.