That urge you have to always answer immediately whenever your blackberry buzzing, even after work hours.
That time when you don't mind to stay late in the office and miss dinner with your family.
Well, if both cases seem familiar to you, congratulations, you might win Employee of the Month.... or NOT!
Having worked with and for different type of organisations – big and small – across different countries, I have noticed one similarity – your overboard commitment might be just taken for granted.
Now, to be fair, it is not your company nor your direct supervisor’s fault. They just sing the same song as it has been done before: business is business.
For them, your over the top commitment to work is almost expected. In fact, if you do not stay late or answer email immediately, even after working hours, it is almost guaranteed that your commitment to your work is questioned.
Now, of course, there are unicorn-type of companies or bosses that will give you the appropriate appreciation. Money is one. But others might give their best shot to fulfill their promises.
For instance, if your company is big in promising a ‘clear career path’, you can see them providing necessary tools to allow their employees to grow. Or, if your company wants to promote work life balance, you can see your HR or your direct supervisor happily allows you to work anytime and anywhere as long as you complete your task.
The problem is at times, words just mean nothing. Whilst your company’s advertising about how great it is, your request to telecommute because your daughter is not well or your aspiration to work in your company’s office abroad seem to fall on deaf ears.
So, how to strike a balance, you might ask. There is no silver bullet. Each company operates differently. Each supervisor has their own style. But one thing that I have learnt is to always give your best shot at work. But do manage your expectation.
To employers, business is business. And you have to think similarly. This means, if you’ve done your best (and even over perform), but still not getting anywhere with your aspiration, you might want to reconsider your career at your company.
Remember this, if your company wants you to go, it will kick you out regardless your personal circumstance. So, my question now is, is there still any reason for you to stay late, leave your family at home for weeks and put your work first – if no one takes notice?
Don't get blindsided by loyalty. And always be pragmatic.