You Don’t Know It Yet, But Your Job Could Be Killing You

Written by Paul Marchildon, on December 23, 2013.


Working overtime has become the norm for most people. Unfortunately, it can have extremely negative impacts on your health, happiness, and overall quality of life. It’s time to be honest with yourself and answer the questions: How many hours per week do you typically spend working? Do you find yourself stressed-out the majority of the time, logging late nights at the office, and wishing that there were just more hours in the day? If so, wake up! You’re being overworked. It might be time to start putting yourself first. If not, the results could be drastic.

There is a lot of truth to that last statement. Mita Diran, a young copywriter for Y&R Indonesia posted a complaint two weeks ago on Twitter: “30 hours of working and still going strooong.” Not an uncommon tweet for a young millennial, however the repercussions were quite uncommon. Mita soon collapsed after her tweet, passing away the following day.

It’s obvious that Mita thought this would just be another witty tweet, complaining about her time demanding schedule, and she would likely post another in the upcoming days. Unfortunately, her trend of tweets foreshadowed this tragedy, and it should be a wakeup call about the intense pressures certain industries face to perform on short deadlines.

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After reading this article, it was time to reflect.

My agency was definitely a sweatshop at times. God forbid, no one died, but there were certainly a number of times people broke down in tears, myself included. However, the difference was that I was working just as hard as the rest of them. It seems like the path to success, doesn’t it? The more you work, the more you reap the success? No, the answer is no. I know now that we could have been equally successful, or even more successful had we not worked so many hours.

Let’s break that concept down a bit. Take a look at the Sports Industry. A hockey franchise would never put their best athletes on the ice for the whole game. They would at most put them on for 25 minutes of the 60 minute game. Sports players work in shifts so that they can re-charge their famous skill-set. They don’t burn out. They endure, while being smart about it, which in turn produces the most efficient and powerful results.

Owners and managers really need to wake up to the fact that working people to the bone isn’t driving profits like they believe it does. Death shouldn’t be the wake up call either, but it would seem like that’s what we have succumbed to.  So what are we over-achieving workers to do? Honestly, we need to smarten up and get our lives back before they take the best of us.


Paul Marchildon

Paul Marchildon

A self-proclaimed Leisureologist and Motivational Speaker, Paul Marchildon applies his vast expertise in human engagement to help leaders create more productive, effective organizations. Building on an influential career as a pioneer in employee incentive and loyalty programs, strategic creative communications, social media and mobile marketing, Paul provides insight into the advantages of incorporating a leisure culture in the "work" place. He is past president of Society of Incentive and Travel Executives’ (Site) Canadian Chapter and founder of Atlantis Creative Group (now part of Maritz Canada). He is one of a select group of Canadians who have received the Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) designation.