My boss told me once, on one of my first days in my position, that I was not indespensible.
Which sounds harsh. But it’s true, even the most valuable employee is not indespensibe.
People quit, or are let go, or go on leave. And the company or agency goes on. Those individuals are replaced, the work continues, and while those people are missed things go on as if nothing has changed.
What my boss meant by those words, and what I mean, is that no one is indespensible and so work cannot be everything. He was encouraging me to have a work-life balance, to have a life outside of work.
I’ve known a lot of workaholics. My dad was one – always working, long extra hours, always on the phone or checking emails. Some of my friends are. And for one, it cost our friendship as she was working too much to have time for relationships. Another friend over worked herself to the point where she was breaking down every night.
I think the truth that everyone needs to know is the bit of wisdom my boss imparted on me: you are not indespensible.
For me, this means I do my work and I do it well. I work the time I need to work, and occasionally a bit extra. But then I leave work. I go home and I have my life. I leave work behind and focus on myself and what I want.
Because my life is mine. It will not be replaced. It will be what I put it into it. It is based on my choices and my actions. My life is important.
And work is an important part of it. But it is just a part. The other parts are just as important. My friends, my family, my God, myself.
It all matters. Every piece of it.
But work is replaceable. Jobs can be changed. Work will come and go.
I only have one life. And I will live it to its fullest.