As I was reaching for my trusty can of hairspray last night I noticed the label which read – Strong Style Hairspray for Long Lasting Hold and Flexibility – I thought to myself, isn’t that what we all want? It was definitely what I was looking for to keep my curls intact, unfortunately the summer humidity resulted in anything but long lasting hold for my hair!
It got me thinking about what these two characteristics really mean in the workplace – long lasting hold, staying power, sustainability, durability, flexibility, resilience to change. And why is it that these features are so highly regarded when it comes to work?
When we look at the cost of recruitment (figures show it can cost up to 150% of the persons salary) its easy to understand why employers value an employee who will stick around long enough to a least recoup those costs. Similarly, when we consider the current economic climate, a flexible workforce is essential when "business as usual" is now characterised by change, volatility and ambiguity.
But what about me?
For years I prided myself on these two factors; long lasting hold and flexibility. Working long hours in the office – being the first one in and the last one to leave. Staying with a company – even when I wasn’t happy. Conveying positivity about mandated change – regardless of how I really felt. Displaying a strong disposition when stressed – but inside I was falling apart.
Ironically, in my attempt to be what I thought was highly valued, I created a vicious cycle and downward spiral, where long hours, little rest and an increasing workload created an unhealthy amount of pressure and stress.
Looking back at my corporate life and reflecting on my attempt to fulfil an ideal of what I thought was valued, and necessary in order to succeed, I realise that long lasting hold, sustainability, staying power, flexibility, resilience and durability can only be achieved when we balance our performance with rest and recovery.
So, are you getting enough downtime to sustain your performance and long-term career?