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A very common piece of advice that young professionals receive when they’re building their careers is to hustle hard. In addition to this, networking, learning continuously, and never saying no to opportunities at work are also touted as the ‘secrets’ to a successful career.
Recently though, Twitter user Jordan Kong’s ‘unpopular opinion’ of working on weekends to scale up the corporate ladder sparked a debate on keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is to work on the weekends.
— Jordan Kong (@ImNotJK) June 11, 2021
A few people agreed with her advice.
I’ve never thought of weekends as “days not to work.” If anything, they’re the days when it’s particularly good to work, because they’re quieter.
— Paul Graham (@paulg) June 13, 2021
I think the whole “work-life balance” bullshit ruined the work ethic for some people. Millennials and Gen Z need to understand if they want to be successful, they need to put in the work, regardless if it is after 5pm or if it is on the weekend.
— Gabriel Vancea (@gjvancea) June 12, 2021
But a majority of people disagreed. Some shared their own experiences of burning out and facing health issues due to overwork.
I worked EVERY weekend of my young life. In my 30s I am still in poverty in danger of returning to homelessness with SO. MANY. HEALTH. PROBLEMS. My body is falling apart. I can’t work the same way. Stress is a big part of the problem.
End capitalism. Pay workers more.
— Kael the Far-Fetched Queer (@Kaelwritesblog) June 13, 2021
Working as a doctor, I’ve seen too many people who worked every hour available in preparation for a future that never came. Nobody is guaranteed a old age. Don’t defer your happiness. Life is happening now- don’t miss it.
— Dr Leyla Türko?lu (@LeylsTurk) June 13, 2021
This is terrible advice.
I’ve been there — all because someone I once admired told me this was the only way to be successful. I nearly worked myself to the grave.
I became very sick — weighed 85lbs, struggled to eat, felt NASTY anxiety for MONTHS. I thought I was dying. (1/3)
— Ivonne Aldaz (@ivonnealdazz) June 13, 2021
Having been someone who did that, here’s what I learned.
All it does is signal that you’re willing to devalue the work you do and teaches bosses that you’re willing to be overworked.
It never pays off the way people tell you it will.
— Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva) June 13, 2021
I worked a job where I made myself available at all hours, any day of the week, and it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I left that job with the same title as when I started.
Your boss doesn’t give a shit. https://t.co/BV4qutiLTM
— Maki Scare-O – Spooky Amazon FGC Ambassador (@sciencecomic) June 13, 2021
Others reiterated that life doesn’t revolve around our jobs and that we should spend time with our family and friends over the weekends.
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Unpopular Opinion: The best thing young people can do early in their careers is sleep at night and see friends/family and have fun on the weekend. https://t.co/J8sO7cGSWl
— Rae L Jewett (@RaeLJewett) June 13, 2021
i remember there was this study with elderly people at care homes and they were asking what their biggest regret was, and like 99% of them said working too much. not taking enough time off, not spending enough time with friends, not forming fufilling hobbies.
number ONE REGRET https://t.co/ZPIymwOQAM
— Jessi Sheron makes mermaid comics (@JessiSheron) June 13, 2021
Life is all about building habits. When you’re young it’s also about investing time into what you want your life to be.
So unless you plan to have your life revolve around work forever (meet a partner there, have no hobbies etc) diversify your time
— Stella Garber (@startupstella) June 12, 2021
Makes a note to not recommend any of the young people I mentor to work at one of your companies.
Balance matters; a full life matters; choosing to not be exploited by a company matters; establishing that balance and fullness starts early.
— Grady Booch (@Grady_Booch) June 13, 2021
Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is learn to have a fulfilling life at any income level so they don’t trap themselves in a never-ending wealth-chasing capitalist hellscape for the rest of their lives.
— Orchestructive (@orchestructive) June 13, 2021
It’s an unpopular opinion because it’s a bad opinion and horrible advice
— Elle M. (they/them) (@ellle_em) June 13, 2021
The best thing young people can do is realize that an employer that needs more than 40 hours of your time per week is probably poorly managed and understaffed and your future career there will be grim.
— melico (@melico24) June 13, 2021
Unpopular opinion because for a reason. Wasting your youth when there’s still plenty of time ahead. A wealth of various experiences, including off time activities is what makes a well rounded and successful person. This is a fast track to lack of self satisfaction and burn out.
— FlowTrader #NotAQuant (@FlowTraderTM) June 12, 2021
I work in HR. No HR people in their right mind would give this advice–not even tacitly–unless you want an organization full of burnt-out, illness-spreading, resentful zombie employees (not to mention law suits). Time off isn’t pure altruism. Tired, sick people do bad work.
— Stephanie “Dawnzer Lee Light” Brown (@Brown_Steph) June 13, 2021
What are your two cents on the matter? Tell us.
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