Should young people work weekends?

by | Oct 5, 2021 | Learning, Personal Development

I’m sure this got your attention the way it got mine. I was instantly drawn into this conversation when Venture Capitalist Jordon Kong very controversially tweeted that the best thing young people can do is to work on the weekend. I wonder how you feel hearing this…? The responses ranged from descriptions of working on the weekend as a “never-ending wealth-chasing capitalist hellscape,” to an inevitable path to “zero time with friends and family” to “zero social skills, have no life experiences, and suffer from mental burnout before 30,” to “sell yourself body and soul for companies that don’t even bother with your mental, physical, and financial well-being.”

I don’t agree that this has to be the case. In fact, I agree whole heartedly with Jordon Kong. Now, if you are Gen Y or Z and you don’t like what I’m saying, hear me out before you want to shoot the messenger… and perhaps these might be just the Key Steps that you need to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

  1. Let’s DEBUNK the negative responses to Jordan’s tweet. I worked weekends for almost 10 years, and I still work on weekends (just much less than I did in my 20s) plus I know hundreds of colleagues and thousands of clients that do too and we are NOT burnt out. Yes, some are – that is a different conversation – but most are not. I have time with my family, decent social skills, rich life experience and, most importantly, I AM HAPPY. I also know that I would not be where I am without working weekends. Maybe what we need to do is…
     
  2. REFRAME what we mean by ‘work’. Muchof what I did on the weekend in my 20s and 30s was helping out in the training centre where I worked, studying (I did not go to Uni after school but studied and worked until I was 40), stretching myself spiritually, gaining new skills and autonomously developing my career. I had an employer that honestly wasn’t that interested in developing me, so I made it a personal priority and had to do it outside of working hours with my own financial resources too. I remember doing home manicures and eating beans on toast because that is all I could manage on my budget. Why did I do this? Some people would say it is because I am ambitious BUT it was really more about a…
     
  3. Focus on PASSION and PURPOSE. I enjoyed funnelling my energy into my passion. Yes, it required lots of personal sacrifice and some weekends I didn’t feel like studying but had to do it anyway. In the big picture, I couldn’t have not done it because it wasn’t just about the work for me. It was passion. It was living my purpose and it felt great to achieve personal mastery. Yours might be about pursuing a side hustle. To do this, another key ingredient is to…
     
  4. See it as a PRIVILEGE and INVESTMENT. I saw it, and still do see it, as a privilege and investment to be able to work on the weekend. In my 20s, I would go into the training centre where I worked and sacrifice personal time for no overtime pay, in order to learn what many of my peers missed out on. I found it hard to understand why they didn’t come into work and choose to learn the extra skills. Their choice. I am pleased with mine and I feel deeply privileged that I was able to work and get an education that has brought me here. If you see it as drudgery or a chore, perhaps you can reframe it or maybe it is important to…
     
  5. Maintain the BALANCE. Only you can know what that means and looks like for you. I did have a point in my 20s where I came close to burn out as I had not yet fully learnt to manage myself and my energy. The scare could have led me to put in very hard boundaries and decide that I was no longer going to work during my personal time. But I am glad it didn’t. Instead, I found ways to manage myself better… getting enough sleep, exercising, eating better, supplementing, letting go of draining personal relationships, saying NO and YES in the right proportion, knowing how much FREE time I needed, listening to my body better and so on.I also reframed BALANCE in those years and came to the conclusion that I don’t think there really is such a thing. Life is SEASONAL. During my PhD, I worked gruelling hours. During the first year of Mila’s life, I didn’t do anything outside of traditional work hours but tend to her and my family needs. Seeing life as seasonal was very liberating and took the pressure off trying to find this elusive state of balance. It’s all about knowing what makes you and those you love happy? What can you live with and without?So, my advice to young people and people changing career directions would be to stop thinking about the hours you are ‘working’ and focus on your passion, your purpose, and on learning new skills that fulfil and excite you. And, if you are reading this as a single 20 something year old, plant those seeds while you do not have other commitments and you will reap the rewards later. I know that I am so glad that I did so I can be here for you and take Key Steps to…

So, my advice to young people and people changing career directions would be to stop thinking about the hours you are ‘working’ and focus on your passion, your purpose, and on learning new skills that fulfil and excite you. And, if you are reading this as a single 20 something year old, plant those seeds while you do not have other commitments and you will reap the rewards later. I know that I am so glad that I did so I can be here for you and take Key Steps to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’ 

Namaste,

NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.


Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

 

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Namaste,

 

NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’