Rachel, I have to do a lot of extra work
The writer, a mother with chidlren, takes a lot of work home
August 17, 2012
How do I get my boss to see all the extra work that I do, including all the hours that I put in from home? I worry that she doesn't see how hard I am working and how much this job is taking out of me. Sign me Exhausted Mom of Two
I get a lot of notes like yours, typically in times like these when media departments are still lean from a protracted recession.
And I have just one question. Is it just you who's taking work home and toiling away after the kids are put to bed, or is everyone taking work home?
If it's everyone, that's one thing. We all know of situations and professions—the law for one—where putting in huge hours comes with the job. You do it or you find something else to do for a living.
And of course in media there are a lot of places where long hours come with the territory, and people going there know or ought to know that's what they're in for.
But my sense from your brief note is that it's really just you who's slaving into the night, and if that is indeed the case you need put a stop to it ASAP.
Working those hours is bad news on all sorts of levels, and key is the potential damage to your health, both physical and mental.
But more practically it's an inefficient use of your time. Your efficiency suffers when you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and so does the work you turn out.
In the long run, those extra hours are serving no one
Never mind letting you boss know about all the extra work you are doing. You need to figure out how to get your job done during work hours, when you are fresh and at your best.
First you need to sit down and figure out what it is about your job that requires you to work extra hours.
Is it simply too much work? Or might it be possible to restructure your job in some way that you can go when it's time to call it a day.
It might be a case of figuring out how to swap duties with a co-worker in a way that eases your burden but doesn't load that person down with extra work.
Once you figure all this out, go to your boss with the problem and the solution.
Lay it all out, and do it in a way that makes the solution you have in mind seem both logical and obvious.
My last piece of advice: Move quickly. You have just so many years with your children, and you should be spending all the time with them that you can, without having to prop open your eyes with toothpicks.
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