12 Career Moves for a Happier, Healthier You

Hustle culture infiltrates our daily lives. Who is the next person on 30 under 30? Who is putting in 60 hours a week to retire at age 60? Who else has never taken a day off? This language permeates the news, suggesting a negative mindset toward a healthy work-life balance. People fed up with hustle culture discuss the best ways to achieve an impeccable balance between work and personal life.

1. Comfort With Discomfort

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You cannot grow through stagnation. You also cannot grow positively within a toxic environment. The happy medium exists when you foster adequate discomfort in a healthy workplace that supports progression. You might now know what your dream career looks like or what it is, but healthy workplaces will push you in the right direction and assist you with growing as a professional.

2. Health Comes First

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I accepted a job as a scare actor last year at a time when my body ached with residual pain from a car accident. During the introductory meeting, the staff warned us to take caution with our scares and prioritize our physical health since many scare actors injure themselves yearly. After heavy debate, I decided to forego the position and heal my body. I sought physical therapy to tackle the job successfully next year.

3. Under Promise, Over Deliver

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Scenario one details a new worker ecstatic about their position, determined to go above and beyond for the company manager, emphasizing how much they can accomplish in one day. This person finds it difficult to follow up with what they promised and struggles daily, fostering an unhealthy relationship with work. Scenario two details a new worker who is happy about their position and does not go out of his way to inform the manager about all his promises. He finishes his tasks and checks off extra tasks when he can. He doesn’t stress about pleasing the manager because he never promised anything out of his job description, yet his work ethic impresses the boss.

4. Urgency Wavers

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SOS. Urgent! Complete ASAP! By definition, urgency requires a quick response, yet few things labeled urgent demand immediate action. A worker relays a sage statement to refer to wherever you encounter an email or message entitled URGENT. “Others will always tell you something is urgent, but the sky won’t fall, and the company won’t go bankrupt if deadlines are not met.”

5. Avoid Office Politics

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Offices resemble school systems. One person wants to overthrow the chain of command, one person believes the company despises them despite their devotion, and multiple people show up, do their jobs, and return to their lives. Staying out of office politics allows you to thrive in your position, climb up the company ladder, and complete your tasks without added drama.

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

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Though the cliché statement may grant an eye roll (or two), it rings true in the workforce. Take caution with how much exertion you put into your profession, especially if your workday is taking a toll on your mental or physical health. Over-exertion in exchange for a higher paycheck will never benefit you. If you have a challenging and exhausting job, evaluate how you can optimize your workload to decrease weariness.

7. Be Wary of Workplace Friends

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We’ve all started a new job with bright eyes, fresh makeup or hairstyles, and a beaming personality, excited to impress the new people we’d soon call coworkers. Sometimes, you’ll find the gem of a coworker you stay friends with long after you leave the job, while other times, you run into the person with a fake smile who undermines you, hoping to get you fired or take your role. You can be friends with coworkers, but as one person who’s experienced a backstabbing coworker suggests, monitoring their behavior before trusting them.

8. Plan

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A forward-thinker inserts anecdotal advice for sustaining a profitable career and fulfilling personal life. At the beginning of their profession, they envisioned what their life would entail five years down the line. This includes the job you hope to have, where you hope to be money-wise, and what kind of area and housing fits the vision. Through willpower and dedication, that fantasy was realized.

9. Showing Up Early Pays

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Besides morning people, does anyone enjoy waking up before the sun, driving (or logging in) to the office for an eight-hour shift, all before the kids wake up or cars hit the roads? I can’t say I fancy waking up before the sun rises, but showing up a few minutes early to work helps in the long run. One person says they show up to their profession a few minutes early each day and progress quicker than their coworkers.

10. Loyalty Boils Down to Company Profit

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Many places note their loyalty expectations from their workers pre-employment, but if anything were to go sour, they’d wave away that demonstration of loyalty for a new hire. Sure, you can illustrate your unwavering loyalty to a company, but business models benefit from monetary gain, not employee faithfulness. Do your job well, but do not give up your hobbies or life outside of work for an organization that could replace you the following day.

11. Job Hop at the Start of Your Career

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Why stay in one job when you have the freedom and youth to explore? Before I launched my writing career, I worked at a yacht club, a recycling company, in IT, as a preschool teacher, and in a church, gathering skills I can apply throughout my professional career. By navigating various avenues, you gain knowledge and unparalleled experience you may not have the opportunity to find in a steady career later in life.

12. Take Advantage of Benefits

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Paid Time Off (PTO), sick days—and in some places, mental health days—exist for a reason: For employees to take advantage of them. On the sour side of the workforce, one worker shares that a former coworker never took a day off, stacked his PTO, and one day dropped dead. Instead of the company organizing a fund or a companywide announcement regarding health, they posted the job the next day.

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