Keeping worklife separate
I’ve recently joined a close-knit team and they are a nice bunch of ABCs & BBCs. We are all quite young (mid to late 20s) and need to work late into the evenings on many projects etc. They have been very welcoming and include me in all their after work gatherings. Trouble is, there are just too many of them and I can’t keep up. It’s tiring to be working all day long, then spending most of my evenings painting the town red and nursing a hangover to work the next day. Not to mention the dent it’s putting into my wallet. I like to keep a fine line between work and my personal social circle. How do I maintain some work-life balance without offending my teammates and risk them ostracizing me. Solutions appreciated.
Mark Enticott - Career Doctor
Posted Wednesday 10th July 2013 10:26:00 PM
Maintaining a good work life balance is very important. It sounds like you are very busy at work and with the need to socializing with your work colleagues, it must be very tiring for you. I understand that you are concerned that if you say ‘no’ too often, your work colleagues may feel offended. At the same time I don't believe you need to attend every social gathering either. I would recommend that you attend some after work gatherings, but keep this in balance. People will understand if you don't feel like going or you have other family or other social commitments. Taking this approach will mean you are not always saying ‘no’, but you can still get a breather and ensure you are saving some money as well. It is also important to remember that you need to be able to perform at work. Having a hangover will impact your productivity, quality of work and also potentially your attitude. Moreover, senior management might also pick up the fact that you are coming to work on a regular basis with hangovers. You need to be very mindful on the perception this might give to senior management in your company and could impact your career progression if you are not managing this. We all need our own time away from work and work colleagues. It might be good to start organizing some other healthier activities during the week like sports, exercising, or other hobbies that you are interested in to get the right balance. This will also provide a valid reason why you are not able to socialize on a particular night if you are not comfortable saying ‘no’ to your co-workers. Finally, just remember that work is one aspect of your life. It is important that you spend time with your friends outside of work, family and other people you are close to.