Growing and its cost on work life balance posted on 19 March 2024

The more senior you are, the more pressure you will have to handle since your responsibilities will be greater and that there will be less layers of leadership to shield you from such pressure.

Work life balance is a personal equilibrium – your priorities are different from your coworkers’. It’s also something you should adjust overtime as your priorities will change – e.g. when you become a parent, discover a new hobby or just progress in life.

When you want to grow (and get promoted), you often work hard on what you are lacking: larger impact, increased complexity and broader leadership. We however often forget two things:

  • Do you really want the additional responsibilities? Yes it comes with higher compensation, a new title and maybe some prestige, but not everyone needs to be a lead, director or VP – this is definitely not a requirement to be happy.
  • Can you sustain your performance and can you do so without the extra hours you poured in for your promotion? Once you get promoted, you need to maintain the same performance – the only sustainable path is to be able to naturally perform at that level without working crazy hours.

Another way to frame it is whether you can still have a work life balance you are comfortable with if you get promoted?

A similar point can be made about joining a hot company in a competitive space. While these jobs come with a high compensation, challenging problems and amazing peers, you will have to handle more pressure and work harder than in a more common company. This might very well be what you want and where you will strive, but the important point is that it is not for everyone.

Have you gotten promoted (too early?) and regretted it? Or joined a company that was too intense? I’m curious to hear about your experiences

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