Work/Life Balance Requires Working

Readability

Work/Life Balance Requires Working

A while back I was the train­ing depart­ment head, called the “N7” in depart­ment head speak. One of the divi­sions I owned was indoc, which has new peo­ple at our com­mand before they go to their jobs. Indoc gives new Sailors a place to work while they get their stuff moved in, find a place to live, and fin­ish required paper­work they need for their new jobs. This divi­sion included our junior offi­cers, young ensigns that have recently grad­u­ated col­lege and attended a few weeks of Navy train­ing. When I took over the job ini­tially, I thought I would enjoy men­tor­ing them upon arrival.

I was in for a rude awak­en­ing when one of my first check-​ins told me “I’m really con­cerned about work/​life bal­ance.” I told him “Uhm, you’ve had a lot of life and not a lot of work, so yes, you’re out of bal­ance.” It prob­a­bly seemed like a dick-​thing to say at the time, but it was true.

Seems doable…From Dil​bert​.com

Your first job out of col­lege is a big chal­lenge. You have to prove your­self to your employer and your fel­low employ­ees, plus you have to learn about your indus­try. This holds true for Naval Offi­cers, who have to learn about the Navy, their spe­cific job, and how to lead Sailors, all while get­ting qual­i­fied. Oh, and occa­sion­ally con­tribute to the local com­mu­nity. Until you get qual­i­fied, it’s an uphill bat­tle that takes much more than 40 hours a week.

Increas­ingly peo­ple are grad­u­at­ing col­lege with flawed ideas about work and a lack of crit­i­cal think­ing skills. I’m shocked at the junior offi­cers who can’t write a cohe­sive paper, can’t arrive on time for work, and think that the Navy’s rules about phys­i­cal readi­ness are flex­i­ble. Part of the point of col­lege was to erad­i­cate these bad habits, but col­lege is increas­ingly becom­ing an exten­sion of high school, rather than an adult incu­ba­tor. I used to think “adult­ing” memes were cute, but now I sadly real­ize they hon­estly reflect the inter­nal thoughts of most graduates.

So if you’re a soon-​to-​be col­lege grad­u­ate, and you’re look­ing for­ward to a grad­u­a­tion speech about tak­ing on the world and how you’re going to solve world hunger, all within a 9 to 5, Mon­day to Thurs­day workweek…please stop your­self. Get a job, and get a men­tor or two that are suc­cess­ful. Talk with some­one suc­cess­ful about finances and how you build wealth in your twen­ties. The “cool kids” that are drink­ing their pay checks and scam­ming out of pay­ing stu­dent loans? They aren’t going to be the cool kids in their thir­ties. Trust me, it won’t mean work­ing your­self to death, but it will involve a bit of sac­ri­fice and think­ing ahead. The thing is, you’ll find real hap­pi­ness and sat­is­fac­tion when you do.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy or any other agency.

Have you checked out my blog? Have you donated to Da Tip Jar? Because you know you should!

A while back I was the training department head, called the “N7” in department head speak.  One of the divisions I owned was indoc, which has new people at our command before they go to their jobs.  Indoc gives new Sailors a place to work while they get their stuff moved in, find a place to live, and finish required paperwork they need for their new jobs.  This division included our junior officers, young ensigns that have recently graduated college and attended a few weeks of Navy training.  When I took over the job initially, I thought I would enjoy mentoring them upon arrival.

I was in for a rude awakening when one of my first check-ins told me “I’m really concerned about work/life balance.”  I told him “Uhm, you’ve had a lot of life and not a lot of work, so yes, you’re out of balance.”  It probably seemed like a dick-thing to say at the time, but it was true.

Seems doable…From Dilbert.com

Your first job out of college is a big challenge.  You have to prove yourself to your employer and your fellow employees, plus you have to learn about your industry.  This holds true for Naval Officers, who have to learn about the Navy, their specific job, and how to lead Sailors, all while getting qualified.  Oh, and occasionally contribute to the local community.  Until you get qualified, it’s an uphill battle that takes much more than 40 hours a week.

Increasingly people are graduating college with flawed ideas about work and a lack of critical thinking skills.  I’m shocked at the junior officers who can’t write a cohesive paper, can’t arrive on time for work, and think that the Navy’s rules about physical readiness are flexible.  Part of the point of college was to eradicate these bad habits, but college is increasingly becoming an extension of high school, rather than an adult incubator.  I used to think “adulting” memes were cute, but now I sadly realize they honestly reflect the internal thoughts of most graduates.

So if you’re a soon-to-be college graduate, and you’re looking forward to a graduation speech about taking on the world and how you’re going to solve world hunger, all within a 9 to 5, Monday to Thursday workweek…please stop yourself.  Get a job, and get a mentor or two that are successful.  Talk with someone successful about finances and how you build wealth in your twenties.  The “cool kids” that are drinking their pay checks and scamming out of paying student loans?  They aren’t going to be the cool kids in their thirties.  Trust me, it won’t mean working yourself to death, but it will involve a bit of sacrifice and thinking ahead.  The thing is, you’ll find real happiness and satisfaction when you do.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other agency.

Have you checked out my blog?  Have you donated to Da Tip Jar?  Because you know you should!