Successful Career Comes at a Cost
Dear Annie: I am a woman in her late 30s and have been working at my current career for the past five years. It is a very demanding, high-paced, glamorous environment -- think entertainment/fashion industry. I am in charge of managing a medium-size group of people into getting their deadlines in on time.
For the first three or four years, I really loved my job, and while the hours can be sometimes crazy, I was still enjoying the ride.
However, as with many people, the last two years have been extremely stressful mentally and physically. In the spring of 2020, many of my co-workers were laid off. I was one of the "lucky ones" who still had their job. Unfortunately, this has led to me doing the work of two to three people, with barely any balance outside of work.
I don't know if I am just burnt out or if I want something more out of life. I barely have any time to see friends, and my romantic life has taken a major hit because of all the extra hours I had to do, which resulted in my partner leaving me.
My sister told me I should look into working in administration at a university registrar's office or something along those lines, where most people are actually out of the office by 5/5:30 p.m. and not still working at 9 p.m. on a Friday.
However, I really do not even know where to begin or if my skills are transferable. Part of me feels like any chance I had to get out has slipped past me, and I am so worried about starting all the way at the bottom at this stage in my life. Would you have any recommendations on how/where I should look to see if I can make a fresh start? -- Workaholic
Dear Workaholic: First off, congratulations on a successful career. It makes sense that you feel this way. Our work lives and our personal lives are two pillars of our happiness. Without both, we are out of balance.
If you are still passionate about your job, why not talk to management about creating boundaries for a better work-life balance? Many companies are allowing for remote work or increased benefits in the post-COVID world.
If you want to take a horizontal jump -- well, you'll never know if you don't try.
Dear Annie: For the past 18 months, my aging parent has been accepting (and sometimes volunteering for) tasks that he/she cannot complete alone. Because we share a home, I am forced to help and often do most of the work. I am not given a choice as if I am a child.
The slighting behavior has become more frequent and when coupled with a stressful job, it is extremely frustrating. I expressed my concerns to my parent, but nothing changed.
I pay at least half of the household expenses and plan to move soon. It is likely my parent will move with me. I want to continue supporting him/her financially, but the disregard must stop. What is the right thing to do? Thanks in advance. -- Conflicted and Slighted
Dear Conflicted and Slighted: Your parent is lucky to have you! Older people are sometimes unaware of their newfound limitations, so it is possible that your parent has every intention of completing the project alone but then comes to you for help when he or she hits a roadblock.
The next time this happens, gently explain to your parent that you don't have time for last-minute tasks. If he or she anticipates needing your help, it must be negotiated prior to accepting the project.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.