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While companies search to hire exemplary employees, when they get them they don’t always support them in the way the employee needs. Employees seeking to reach exemplary status at work must make significant long-term sacrifices to be recognized for their achievement. These sacrifices are at the ongoing detriment to their personal lives. Is being an employee and the sacrifice worth it? 

I can not answer that for you. This is a personal decision. You must weigh the pros and cons of your personal and professional values, need for boundaries, balance, and support to reach your own decision. I can share that reaching exemplary status at any company is hard to achieve and may not be what you imagine when you reach your destination. 

Parents, caregivers, grief and trauma survivors, those with health ailments, and many others struggle balancing personal and work responsibilities. When your personal and work responsibilities start to become too much or can become a conflict, your performance at work suffers. Personal and work stress is normal. When you add personal and work trauma, the overwhelming feeling becomes unbearable. Seek counsel, therapy, and support from professionals and other who are in or have been in a similar situation. It does help manage the stress. 

I encourage you to talk with your supervisor about your personal responsibilities and how they are conflicting with work. I would not recommend that you talk to HR first or at all. A supervisor or company that values its employees will attempt to give you grace or help you with resources to better balance your personal responsibilities. Companies that focus solely on your performance issues knowing your personal responsibilities do not value their employees. It will be evident when they do not give you much or any grace. When HR gets involved, you can be assured they are beginning to move you toward the exit. 

Regardless of your status, be mindful of your personal time off (PTO) and FMLA availability. I always encourage people to bank as much PTO time as possible so that when family emergencies arise you have leave available so you have the time to focus on your family responsibilities away from work. When you are out of PTO time, you might want to think about whether this is the time to focus on your personal over professional goals. You might want to contemplate how to move forward with your company especially if they’re not giving you grace. Consider carefully how you ask for and use FMLA. 

You’re probably asking what other alternative exists outside of employment. There are different types of employment statuses that will help you enforce boundaries between personal and work responsibilities. There are temp and temp-to-hire positions that allow you to feel out company culture prior to taking on all employee responsibilities. Another option is contract work such as day labor, seasonal employment, and consulting opportunities with companies who prefer an outsourced model to an employee model. These opportunities may be part-time or full-time. Some pay at a hire rate and allow you more flexibility with your personal commitments. 

There are positives and negatives with any work tenure. The work may not provide you any PTO leave or employee benefits. You may have to find and pay for your own employee benefits through the marketplace. When you are sick and miss work, you will not be paid so you will need to plan financially. However, opportunities with higher pay can offset the costs for sick days and health benefit costs. You may be able to negotiate health premiums costs in your contract work. 

A sustainable long-term work commitment is hard especially as you age. While still an option, the current employment trend no longer sustains longevity with one company. Longevity  in sectors or with subject matter leverages you as an expert and a seasoned professional. Achieving sector or subject matter expertise may be a more achievable goal given your personal responsibilities and available resources. 

Whichever path is right for you, go forward with open eyes and heart. Consider all opportunities presented to you. Experiment to find what works best for you and your career path. You may not be able to control what’s next, but you can be strategic in your next move. 

If you need additional guidance or support in your journey, contact us at Pensivetastic. Let’s collaborate to define your path forward. We’ll help you get there.