ATTN: Those Who Sacrificed Personal Time for Your Career

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  1. #1 Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
    I really like my job and my co-workers. I chit-chat with them, remember their birthdays, and we also go out to lunch about once a week. Most of my co-workers who are over 30 are married and have children (in case you need to know for your responses, I'm 35 and single and have no children). The ones that are not and are under 50 go out together after work. They often have dinner and drinks and go to clubs and concerts late into the night, even on weeknights despite having to be at work at 7am the next day. There are a few that call in sick 2-3 times/month from being hung over after going out the night before. Sometimes, even when they do show up, they "take it easy" at work. They do this by chatting an extra-long time or actually sleeping during work hours (our managers are relaxed and don't really get involved, unless something major happens, like a patient complains). Every couple of months or so, they all take Monday or Friday off so they can go on weekend trips together. I very rarely join them. I choose to save my sick days for emergencies or caring for my disabled father. I take a vacation 1-3 times a year for a week at a time.

    If you count my commute time, the time I'm actually at work, and the time I end up staying late to finish the job, I don't have a lot of personal time. Some of that time I need to help care for my father. Despite our managers' relaxed styles, I just simply feel bad about being unproductive. Also, I like working with my patients, and if I'm not doing my actual job, I'm spending less time with them. I believe in being healthy and alert at work, so I rarely drink and try to get a full 8-9 hours of sleep every night. I work out regularly cuz my job requires a lot of physical work and I want to prevent injuries. I don't see any advancement opportunities at my current workplace coming up in the near future and am currently applying at other places. All these other places are out of state, so I need to save the money I would spend by going out and on trips.

    Yes, I do have friends outside work. They're the same way with their jobs. Their jobs require even longer hours than mine and some are in management positions, so they don't go out often either. I admit that I feel lonely sometimes. As an example, Coachella started this weekend. One guy in the group, Dan (not his real name), managed to buy some tickets and asked the people in the usual group who wanted to go. When I heard about this, I mentioned to a girl who often joins the group that I'd like to go with them if it was possible. She supposedly talked to Dan and later told me that he didn't want to sell any of the tickets to me cuz "he didn't really know me" and since Coachella tickets are extremely hard to get, he wanted to save them for his friends (which are, of course, the people in the group). I understand Dan's POV, so there's no hard feelings toward him. I actually forgot about Coachella for a while, but yesterday, a coworker mentioned that she saw the group's photos from the concert site on their facebook pages, and I couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

    My question isn't whether or not I'm making the right decisions. I know I am because despite the occasional feeling of loneliness, I always go back to deciding not to go out to save money and get enough sleep for the next day. I know that if I want to advance, I need to be a productive team member, so I need to take care of my health and do my best. I just need to know what got you through those days when you felt a little lonely or low.
  2. Well, since you plan to leave anyway, I wouldn't be too worried about your current environment. However, you can definitely take steps towards making new friends at your location -- see if there are groups dedicated to whatever you're interested in, etc. Also, make sure that your location is friendly to people without children! I lived in the Midwest for a while and the culture was def. geared towards families rather than singles.
  3. ^^Thanks. I've already accepted that different people have different attitudes about work and my coworkers aren't changing unless they're forced to do so (like if management suddenly decides to get involved). I guess I was just looking for words of encouragement from people who've been in my shoes.

    The Coachella ticket situation brought me back to my college days. I went to college in a suburban town, where the local bars would have specials for college students on Thursday nights, and a lot of my dormmates took advantage of them and would return to the dorm at 2 or 3am and were too hung over to go class. I knew early on that I wanted to pursue graduate-level education, so I was concerned about getting good grades and would miss class only in emergency situations. Of course, my dormmates bonded over these Thursday nights, so they became friends faster and I often felt left out. I knew I made the right choice by studying and going to class, though. Eventually, I met other students with my same goals and we were able to study together and understood that we all wanted to wait until weekends to go out.
  4. The thing is...there needn't be a hard and fast rule about going out on weekdays or socializing during work hours. I remember going out on Thursday nights - in law school they called it "bar review" and it was a status thing: that you had your **** together enough that you can go out in the middle of the week. A lot of people didn't get drunk every week on Thursday. Many would come but leave early, or show up later when they were done studying, or just show up once in a while. This way they weren't being irresponsible but they were able to participate in the social activities enough to make them feel part of the group. But if you hold yourself apart, is it any wonder that they treat you as separate? Clearly being connected is important to you and your current friends are right now not enough. So you should find a balance between what you have to do (work, family obligations) and what you want to do (socialize). It will take some time but you will get it.
  5. OP - I remember you from your previous thread in the relationship section - where you were sometimes depressed about not being married yet, not having kids at your age, problems socializing with the opposite gender etc.

    IMO - it sounds like you're still suffering from a bit of low self esteem. In life, there introverts and extroverts. One group is not better than the other. It's just how life is. It sounds like you're in the introvert category - frowning upon socializing on a weeknight - whether it's in the professional realm or college hey days.

    My advice - don't worry about other people. Find happiness in yourself first before admonishing others for how they live their lives, especially if it differs from how you choose to live yours and your own personal beliefs. It sounds like you want them to be punished (whether by management at the workplace or receiving failing grades in college). That last bit worries me and frankly I don't know what to say as I'm no a psych major. All I can advise is live your life the best you can vs frowning on others and being jealous of their choices.
  6. Well, from other people's perspectives, I've probably sacrificed personal time for my career - I studied long hours, I never travelled when I was a student because I always took the summer semester as well as standard classes so I could graduate sooner, I worked internships, I also worked while I was studying. After I graduated and was admitted after my first professional year, I applied to post graduate programs and worked full time while studying part time for my Masters. I actually ended up getting my Masters at 28, in the same year that I launched a multimillion dollar green-field development and bought my first home :sweatdrop:

    However, the term 'sacrifice' suggests that I somehow 'missed out' while I was doing those things. In reality, I didn't ever feel like I was missing out on anything, nor did I resent my friends/peers who were off skiing over the holidays or partying every weekend or who took 2 years off to backpack through Europe. The thing is: they made their choices and I made mine. I would assume they are equally happy with their choices as I am.

    OP, your life needs to suit YOU. I suspect you greatly lack confidence in your own choices and this will lead you to doubt yourself. As hermes_lemming said, don't think so much about what other people are doing/thinking/feeling. Other people's lives aren't superior or inferior to yours - just different :yes: