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Five signs your job is ruining your life

Miserable at your job

Being connected is often unavoidable, but having the willpower to not read or reply to emails is imperative to guarding your days away from the office, writes Maya Itani.

April 6, 2013 6:57 by

Leaving the corporate world to start my own business has really opened my eyes to just how much my former job consumed my life. Entrepreneurship is a constant exercise of pragmatism and prioritisation whereas a job in the corporate world can slowly encroach on your personal life with trivial tasks that are needlessly treated as critical.

Here is my list of five tell tale signs that your job is ruining your life; some of which are all too familiar to me. I guess the old adage is true: hindsight is 20/20. If reading this also resonates with you, then it may be time to step back a little and question whether your job has become your life rather than what you do for a living.

You brag about time spent at the office

Underneath the moaning about long hours, workaholics shroud a hidden pride about the amount of hours they spend at the office. Strangely, they treat it as a competition among colleagues. For the most part, it’s one sided – who would want to be the winner of that game?

You can’t leave emails unanswered

In the age of the smart phone, the majority of us are guilty of this. Being connected is often unavoidable, but having the willpower to not read or reply to emails is imperative to guarding your days away from the office. You can never recharge if you never disconnect.

You see your colleagues more than your family

While this is often inevitable, if you find you are arriving home every night after your kids have already gone to bed then some major adjustments to your work ethic definitely should be made. Life is fleeting, and missing first words and first steps is never a price that should be paid to ensure projects are executed.

You skip or reschedule major life events for work commitments

I know people who changed their wedding date because they couldn’t leave work. Can you imagine rescheduling one of the most important milestones of your life to finish reports and make Power Point presentations? I’m sure many of you actually can, and that many of you actually have.

You don’t remember the last time you tried something for the first time

This realisation is what actually what led me to leave the corporate world in search of something that forced me to continuously learn different things. In a career we develop tunnel vision and focus all our energy into being good at one thing – our job. Employees who step out of this mindset and seek new experiences outside of the office not only lead more interesting lives, but are also more balanced than those who only receive mental stimulation from their jobs.

Maya Itani is a former brand manager at a multinational consumer goods company. She left the industry to co-found The Curve (, an online marketplace for adult classes in Dubai. She is still struggling to write a bio that doesn’t include her job title. 

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