How Not to Get Promoted: Ask for Work-Life Balance

This post originally appeared on August 1st, 2013.

She tucked her blonde hair behind her ears and tried to ignore her mother’s piercing stare as she slipped into her seat at the lunch table at her parents’ house. She was late. And she knew what was going to come next.

“You look tired,” her mother observed.

“Gee, thanks,” she replied sarcastically.

She knew she had dark circles under her eyes. She had been pulling fourteen-hour workdays as a junior associate at a magic circle law firm, only to come home to a boyfriend who complained about her being too tired and ‘a hollow version of her former self.’

She had found herself apologizing to everyone that week – her boss, her colleagues, her boyfriend, her friend; for that typo, that miscommunication, that forgotten detail, that missed dinner.

On top of that, this Sunday morning while getting dressed she had discovered that her favorite jeans didn’t fit; thanks to the unexpected layer of flesh she had gained from missing all of her spin classes that week. Plus, she had a pimple on her chin, a shining reminder of the stress underneath which she was drowning.

After she had apologized to her parents for being late, they got on to discussing how her week had been. As she had dreaded, the same old conversation ended up unfolding.

(“Why were you sleeping at your office?” “We had a deadline, Mum.” “Can they make you work those hours?” “Our client needed it by the next morning, Dad.”)

They didn’t ask what she was increasingly starting to ask herself: was all this stress really worth it? And what was ‘it’?

To continue reading, check out the original article here on the Huffington Post UK


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