When I interview candidates for potential jobs, I often hear about their crazy schedules at their current or past employers. Three weeks on, one week off, 14-hour shifts. Crazy demanding schedules like that.
The days on are always more than the days off, of course – work-life “balance” is never balanced, of course.
What about that special time off most people only get for 2/52 weeks each year – vacation time? We work 50 weeks on, and get two weeks off. Why is that okay with us? Many people get less than that, or none, especially when starting a new position at a new company.
Were we born to work? Is that our purpose? I know it certainly is something to embrace, and I’ve learned that separating work from life outside of work doesn’t make sense. We should emphasize that work life is part of our whole life, and we should be happy for the entire day, not just the hours before or after our shift.
Canadians, in particular, are very bad for only talking about the weekend. Most people only do what they desire when they don’t have to think about that 9-5 job as much. In New Zealand, they celebrate the weekend, but they don’t condemn the other five days of the week like us Canadians do. In Calgary, the radio hosts on every station direct their audience to focus on the weekend, and make it sound like it’s the salvation to our terrible work week. For two days out of seven, we are liberated by freedom to do what we want, the other five days are days we want to be over and done with.
My goal for the attainable future is to break this trend, and take at least two months off each year. Roughly, 44 weeks on, 8 weeks off. Let’s see if it’s doable.