Your Employer's Problems are not Your Problems
Ep. 247
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This week I talk about understanding the difference between the tasks you are hired to do and the problems that are your employer’s responsibility. It’s important to recognize that your employer’s problems are not your problems, and corporate America loves to take advantage of employees’ perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies, which leads them to take on extra work that they are not paid to do. We have to remember that our jobs are transactional relationships, and we get paid for performing a specific set of tasks. 

In this episode I encourage you to evaluate the tasks you were hired to do and what you are doing that is beyond your pay grade, figure out when you agreed to take on extra work, and how you can change this situation. There are four common problems that arise from employees taking on work they are not paid to do, including doing more work than we are paid for, taking on someone else’s responsibilities, working beyond regular hours, and fixing other people’s mistakes. Listen in as I encourage you to set boundaries, advocate for yourself, and give back work that is not your responsibility.


Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons from a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends and welcome back to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. I'm excited for this topic because it's something that I coach a lot on in the club, but I don't think I've explicitly talked about and I think it's something that we all, in the corporate America, everybody that is working at a job needs to understand the difference between, you have to understand what your problems mainly, and maybe problems isn't the right word, but what you're hired to do, what you're hired to fix, the tasks that you're paid to do and things that are not your problems, that are your employer's problems.

It's really important that we all understand that your employer's problems are not your problems. We try to fix our employer's problems because we have grown up being taught that you wanna help others and we're good people and we have empathy and we're people pleasers and we want everyone to like us. And then on top of that, we've all been conditioned in corporate America to believe that we're this family and that you know, one team, one dream and all these BS sayings that we've sort of been fed. And so corporate America really utilizes and capitalizes on our perfectionist tendencies, on our people pleasing tendencies and it feeds on it and it gets us to do things that we're not paid to do, that we're not hired to do. That is just not our problem. And so for so many of us who have taken on a lot of extra worry or anxiety or fixing things, we tend to go into overdrive and fix things that are where we typically would need to put up a boundary, right?

Where we typically would need to advocate for ourselves. But we haven't been taught how to do that. And so that's what we wanna talk about today is like how do we start figuring out like what's my problems to deal with and what's not mine? What can I give back to my employer? But even before we get to that, what I want us to start and truly understand is that your job is a transactional relationship, okay? What that means is that you get paid to do a certain number of tasks. That's it. That's the end of it, right? You do some work, they pay you in exchange for that tasks. Now we already know this at a certain level because they can let us go whenever they want, right? It becomes very obvious how transactional it is when we're going through a recession or when they need to do layoffs or when they don't think that your performance is good enough.

All of a sudden we're not a family anymore, right? We're a family except when we wanna kick you out, then you're no longer part of our family. And so for a lot of us, like we can get that, that it's not really a family, but we're not made to feel that way, right? It's like we understand that it's a transactional relationship and then we get mired in this kind of gray area, this push and pull of like, well I should just do this cuz it's nice or they need help or they're understaffed or you know, whatnot. And we start taking on more and more. And this leads to so many people being burned out. It leads to so many people wanting to quit. I can't tell you how many people I coach that tell me I do the job of 2, 3, 4 people and I'm like, why?

When did this happen? How did this just come about? And it's sometimes a slow creep, but we truly wanna understand like when do I take on problems that are not mine to take on, that I am not being paid to take on, that are not a part of this transactional relationship. So the first thing, I'm gonna go through four problems that I see a lot of and give you examples of them, but there's more than this. I'm just coming up with like the most common examples. It might be different in your work and you have to really evaluate, I want you to sit down and think about what is the role I was hired for? What were the tasks that I was supposed to do that I'm getting paid for? What am I doing that's above and beyond those tasks? What am I doing that's above and beyond my pay grade and my job?

Why did I take those on, right? I want you to like just evaluate how did this happen? When did I agree to it? When did I not advocate for myself? How can I change this, right? So your situation might be a little different, but let's just get into some of the most common ones. I see number one, the number one that I see all the time is you're doing more work than what you're paid for. Okay? So again, you take on a job and then it starts becoming like, oh so-and-so quit. We're understaffed, can you just take on this person's job? Or we have a really big client now we have all these extra things to do. Can you just help out in this department that you're not even a part of? Or you know, we're a small place and I know we hired you to do marketing, but we're also gonna need you to like help us balance the books at the end of the month, right?

And it's like, I wasn't hired for accounting but okay, I'll just do it because I wanna be a team player and I want them to like me and I don't wanna get fired. And we have all of these slots and so we start taking on so much more work than what we're actually paid to do. Okay? I wanna give you an example. When you take it out of corporate America and when you start seeing like how obvious it is, if I have a housekeeper, if I hire someone and I pay them a good amount to clean my house, right? So I tell them like I'll pay you $200 to come in and just like wipe down the counters and clear it on the floors and come once a week and you know, wash the dishes or whatnot. Like these are the tasks that I am envisioning for my housekeeper and I pay their $200.

And then one week I'm like, you know what? I'm so sorry my gardener just quit. Do you think that you can also just rake all the leaves outside and water the plants and if you could just mow the grass, the lawn, the front lawn, if you could just add that on. I know it'll probably take you another hour or two, but I'm still just gonna pay you what I like. If you could just do that for me, that would be awesome, right? Like it's very obvious that I'm exploiting her, right? That I'm utilizing this relationship that I have and I'm asking her to do things that are outside of what I'm paying her for. And yet that's what so many people do. For whatever reason we've just decided that is if it's a salaried position or if it's in corporate America, then like they just get to ask us to do whatever and we just have to say yes.

And here's the thing they're going to ask you to do more. Capitalism thrives on this, right? It thrives on making the most while paying the least. Like that's sort of the goal in most of corporate America. If you do the work of three people, they won't hire more people cuz they don't have to. Of course they want to pay one salary and have the work of three people done. But what you have to understand is like it's not your problem that they're understaffed, that's your employer's problem. If they don't have enough people to do the roles that they need to do, they need to rectify that. You don't need to take on all the tasks that fall through the cracks. That's their business. Okay? That's not your problem. And for so many of us, when we go into this hyperdrive of people pleasing where we decide like, oh my god, there isn't anyone to do this so I should just do this.

I want you just question why? Why should I? I'm getting paid to do my tasks, I'm doing my tasks. Why would I be responsible to do more than they're paying me for? We have to start giving them back their own problems. This doesn't mean like you have to go in guns blazing and be like, I'm not doing this work. None of that means that It's just like can I start advocating for myself? Can I start asking questions? Can I start saying like, you know, my plate's already full with the job that you've given me. How would you like me to offload some of that for me to take on these tasks, right? It's having the conversation of like that's not actually what I was hired for. What is the timeline in which you're gonna hire somebody else? Maybe I could take it on for a week or two or a month to give you some breathing room, but what's the plan?
I'm not just taking it on forever, right? And I know that for so many of us, I think the catastrophizing that our brain does like where we go to is, but I'll get fired. And I'm not saying that there aren't consequences to putting up boundaries and stuff, but what I see in so many people is like they end up getting so burned out, they quit anyways because it is not sustainable to take on the work of two or three people. That is not something you can do for a while. You can do it, sure, but after a while you'll become so angry and resentful and tired and exhausted and burned out that you will leave and it is in your employer's interest for you to stay. So why not try to create a relationship where you can advocate for yourself, bring up issues, talk honestly.

And a lot of us, the problem, the reason that we can't is because of our own thoughts is our own doubts is our own fear of like what if they get upset? What if they think I'm not a team player? What if they don't like me? What if my boss gets mad? And so then we don't say anything and we just keep taking things on and we become resentful and we go home and complain about it and we complain about it to our coworkers. And we not only build up that kind of anger and resentment, but we lose a little bit of self-trust with ourselves, right? The more you advocate for yourself, the more you build that trust that you will take care of yourself, the more you'll build the trust that like you will not allow people to take advantage of you, right? Maybe it doesn't work at this job, maybe push comes to shove and they don't wanna hire someone else and it becomes really obvious for you that like you have to go get work elsewhere.

That's tough. It's not as tough as knowing that like you are sort of a victim to anybody taking advantage of you when they want, right? Anybody getting you to do anything that they want you to do, it's harder in the end to never say anything and to always be burned out and exhausted and feel angry and never be able to stick up for yourself or to even just ask a question. And so when we start reframing and just understanding like what is my problem here and what is not my problem to fix being understaffed at a company that I don't own is not my problem. Okay? So that's one. The second one, and we're gonna talk about this on the podcast next week as well, but not taking your vacation, your lunch breaks, your breaks, your P t o, your sick leave, whatever it is because someone can't cover, there isn't someone to do your job.

You're worried about your, I don't know, clients or whatever things falling through the crack, basically you're worried about like the work that you do, not being able to be filled, not be able to be taken care of. And so you sacrifice your own time off in order to constantly work to make sure again that this business, I don't know, stays afloat. That your, your customers, your clients, your patients, whatever it is, are taken care of. While that is noble, again, that's not your problem and that's what leads to burnout. Okay? You are entitled to your lunch break, to your vacations, to your breaks, to your sick leave if you're sick. There's a reason why those policies exist and that is what is required to not burn out. So many people wanna figure out like how to not be burned out while going at a hundred miles an hour all the time and never taking breaks.

Like it doesn't work that way. If you wanna know how to not be burned out, you have to learn how to do less. You have to learn how to say no. You have to learn how to put boundaries. That's how you stop burnout is learning to advocate for yourself. Is learning to take rest when you need it Is learning that you're not a robot is learning that you can't just keep going forever and never need a human moment, right? I'm gonna give you an example of my mom. She was on the podcast a couple of years ago and we talked about her story but my mom worked at a company for 19 years and she helped grow the company from a handful of employees, I think like six employees to you know, I don't know, it was like 70 employees, like a hundred million company.

It went through a lot of change in those 19 years and she was the VP of accounting and she had a very stressful job and she took on a lot of that stress. And I remember in those 19 years I think she took a total of two real vacations. I remember the first one because she had panicked about it for so long and it was like after 10 years that she took a week off or maybe a a little bit more than a week. And it was always the same excuse, it was always the same thought that like they can't handle the accounting without me if I'm not there. And the accounting was obviously an important part of the business and it was something where, you know, I, I don't know much about accounting but I know things had to be done every week. Payroll, accounts receivable, things had to be reconciled.

These are all words that she's used that I don't truly understand but you get what I'm saying. There was the very real thought and pressure of like this has to get done and if I'm not there, how is this gonna get done? And I remember she went and it was the first vacation she went on, she came back and lo and behold the company didn't go under right though Earth didn't open up and swallow it whole. She came back and it was fine and they managed for that like 10 days or whatnot. And then I think she went on one more and if you listen to the podcast episode that she was on, you'll know that my mother was very much blind Sidedly laid off after 19 years when she was 59 years old. And it was a huge lesson for me and for her.

But she really looked back at how much she had sacrificed in those 20 years for that company and how quickly they disregarded her and what she needed and her life. And it was a rude awakening. It was a really harsh lesson to learn and it's part of the reason that I'm so passionate about doing this work and helping so many other people. She's not the only one. I've had so many people on the podcast and I know you all know so many people that have gone through this where it's like you adopt this belief that like I have to help this company and I have to do the most and I can't take time off and they need me and you know it's gonna go under and I don't wanna get fired. And then something happens and they fire you or they lay you off or you get burned out and you leave and you think about how many years you sacrificed in order to what to keep their company afloat, to take on their problems, to be a team player, to be liked.

Like you don't get those years back, you don't get that time back. I recently, I don't remember that exactly what the quote was, but somebody was saying like you can't stockpile joy or rest. You can't say like, oh I'm gonna hold off on this and then in five years I'll be able to get all the rest I need. Like you need continuous rest all the time. You are entitled to joy all the time. You're entitled to fun and having a break all the time. And if you let it go, if you waste it, if you give it up, you don't get that back. What you do get is a lot of stress and a lot of illness and a lot of other ways in which your body says no because you are not giving the the break that it needs, right? I recently hired a assistant who is fantastic and I love it and she has been a fantastic part of the team and by team I mean me and her, there's two of us, okay?

She has only recently come on about a month and she's pregnant and she is gonna have to go on maternity leave. And let me tell you, that's not like convenient for me. It's not like, oh my god this is the best thing in the world, but whose problem is it? It's not her problem, it's my problem. This is my business, right? And I have to take into account that people need to go on vacation, that people will have babies, that people need breaks, that people whatever get sick will get covid, right? I have to think through how am I gonna back that up? Am I gonna take it on? Do I wanna hire someone else too so that there's always someone that's gonna cover each other? Do I wanna hire an agency that can fill in when she's not around? I don't know, there's a lot of different solutions.

But let me tell you, if she took it on and was like, you know what, I don't even need to take a maternity leave, which I, I see her so many women like I can't be back in three weeks. It's mind blowing why you're having a baby. You know, like I understand finances and, and in America we just have as abysmal maternity leaves. So maybe you can't take more than the six weeks or whatever it is that we're legally entitled to, which is basically nothing. That's a different story. But a lot of people can't, right? They have the sick leave, they have F M L A, they have disability insurance, they have things that will tie them over or they have the money to do it but they're so terrified of like their boss being mad or their client slipping through the cracks or no one being able to cover it.

And I want you to understand again that that's not your problem. Your problem is figuring out how to take those vacations, how to take those breaks, how to set things up, how to talk about it with your employer, how to make sure even if you have a lot of negative emotion about it, even if it's causing a lot of anxiety, that you still decide that you are worth taking a break. Like I try to encourage all of the people that I coach or the people in the club to just start with your lunch break. I know we love to believe the thought like I don't have enough time, I don't have enough time to get through everything which we're gonna get through by the way. And the next one, I don't have enough time to do all of my work. I don't have enough time cuz there's meetings all the time.

I don't have enough time so I'm just gonna work through lunch. No, why? Why is that your solution? Instead of the solution being talking to my boss about how much work I have and how much I can actually reasonably get done talking about how many meetings we have and how we have to cut it out, understanding that I'm entitled to a break in the middle of the day to be able to eat like a normal human and not have to be sitting in front of of my computer. I think about this a lot. It's funny what obviously like everything, if you listen to me, I talk a lot about like how it's our thoughts in this realm. It's really fascinating to look at other cultures when you look at other countries where it's just the norm to take four weeks of vacation a year, it's just the norm.

And that's so mind blowing to so many Americans, right? Because it's so outside of what we do in corporate America. And that's by design, right? Like you see all these people now, um, all these like tech companies that do unlimited p t o and it sounded so great, but they talked about how like it was sort of done to make you not take any vacation because that's what happens psychologically when there's unlimited and you look around and you see what other people are doing and other people are only taking a week. It has the psychological effect of you just being like, okay, maybe I shouldn't take more than a week. It's very rare for people to be like, all right, well I'm gonna take six weeks off this year. I'm gonna figure that out. I'm gonna figure out how I can get my work done, how I can provide the value I'm supposed to provide, how I can handle my own problems and not worry about like what they're gonna think and whether they love me or whatnot.

And like we've sort of been conditioned to believe that you shouldn't need more time off. And it's funny, we all think about this now with like after Covid it's been obviously very different because we think about illness in a different way after the pandemic. But w think about before how like you were just expected to go to work when you were sick. Like how many of us did that, right? How many of us are like, oh it's just a cold. And now because we look at it from like germs and spreading it, it's like are you insane? Why would you go into the office? Right? Nobody wants that. But before that wasn't the expectation. The expectation was like even when you're sick, are you really that sick? Like do you, is it, is it bad? Like it's just a cough, just a sneeze. It's just this.

And it's funny cuz your body's like, I'm fighting something I would like rest please. And we're like, Hmm, you don't really need that, do you? You're all right. You could probably come in and do a little bit of work. You could work from home and think about how many of us feel guilty when we're sick. How many of us try to do a little bit of work from home, right? All of this is the conditioning from capitalism, from hustle culture, from this idea that that your productivity is the number one thing that makes you worthy or important. And so we all drive ourselves into the ground and if you want to fight against that, you have to be the one that demands your time off. You have to be the one that gives yourself permission to do it. You have to be the one that advocates for yourself.

They're not gonna give it to you. It is in their interest for you not to take a long maternity leave for you not to take lunch breaks, for you not to take a vacation. Of course it's easier for your employer, right? Of course it's easier for me to have a VA that doesn't ever go on vacation, but that doesn't mean that she shouldn't go on vacation. That just means like why are we prioritizing my ease over her needs? And so you have to get very clear on like why am I taking on their problems? Their problem is to figure out who's gonna cover for me their problem is to figure out how many employees they, they need in order for everybody to be able to have a break in order for everyone not to burn out. And again, corporate America is so shortsighted that they don't see this.

But like every study has been done that's shown that like if you actually do this, employee turnaround is less, which is in their benefit, right? You can go really hard for a little while and then you burn out and you quit and then they have to bring on someone new and do go through the whole training and all that. So it's like it's actually better for everybody involved. But again, we're so shortsighted that it's like oh I just wanna like squeeze out the most that I can out of every person not realizing that that only leaves them depleted. So I mean maybe consider that question like how could this be the best thing, not just for me but for the employer as well, okay? And even if you can't get there, that's fine. It doesn't have to be the best thing for them, but it can be an understanding of it's their problem, not mine.

This is not my problem. I was paid to do this job and I was given this many weeks of vacation and this much sick time and you know, these lunch breaks or whatever and I'm entitled to take those and I will not allow them to make me feel guilty for taking the time off. That is a part of the job. That was a part of the thing that I agreed to. When we think about it as like exploitation or them tricking you. Like imagine they don't overtly say this, but imagine if they said like, oh we're gonna lure you. Maybe Laura Laura's a strong word, but like we're gonna entice you to come here with this package, right? You have health insurance, you get this much in your salary, you get this much P T o, you get this much sick leave. This is what you're gonna get in order to come do these tasks.

And you're like, great. Sign me up right now Imagin the we're like, uh, actually you don't get that vacation Or like mm psych you get, we actually don't give you healthcare. Like imagine how angry you would be. You'd be like Wait, no, no that's not fair. You told me I get this. And like just because it doesn't happen explicitly doesn't mean it's not happening, right? Like they're just doing it in a slick way. They're just getting you to agree not to do it instead of them telling you, right? Like if they came in and were like, yeah we actually don't have any sick leave or P T o, you'd be like, I'm outta here. I'm not gonna work somewhere that doesn't give me any p t o And then most of us just don't take any PTO because we're like so concerned about what our employer's gonna do instead of handing that back to them, right?

So that's number two, which goes in line with number three, especially the lunch break part of this. I mean even vacations with the lunch break card stop taking on the issue of not being able to finish quote unquote all of your work on time. Okay? Oh my god, this drives me nuts. I can't even tell you. And I was one of these people, we have to disabuse ourselves of the idea that we're gonna be productive all day long every single day. No human body, no human mind works like that. You are not a robot, it's just not the way it works. And all of us love to believe that other people are just more productive than we are. I'm just not productive. A lot of us are in situations that are set up to not be productive like 4 million meetings a day. So like of course it makes it harder to be productive and then instead of talking about this or bringing it up, we just decide like I should have gotten more done so I'm just gonna work through my lunch.

I'm just gonna work in the evenings. I'm gonna work on the weekends to catch up because we create this thing that I should have had it done by. Now there's a couple things I wanna say about this. One is that like it's so funny that we have this like should and it's sort of made up. Sometimes you have a task list where you have to get like you have a deadline, okay? But for the most part we just have this underlying thought of like I should have just done more today. And I always get this with people who have a literally hard time with like to-do list and getting through their to-do list with this like false sense of thought, I guess a false expectation that there will be a time where you will get through your to-do list and like it will be done, right?

Like there's this like panic of like I gotta finish it all. And when I coach people I always ask 'em like okay let's say you finish it all. Then what happens? Like what happens the next day? Let's say you got through the to-do list, what happens the next day? And they're like, well I just have other tasks. Yeah cuz that's what they're paying you for. Like there's always things to do. So like when you start really questioning do I have to get everything done right now or is this just the nature of the job every day there's gonna be things to do and I know like I have to work on some things to finish it to get to others. But when I can stop panicking about the fact that like I should have always done more only because I told myself I should only because I have some kind of unfair or maybe misguided expectation of how much I should have done.

Can you start then realizing like what realistically am I supposed to do in a day? I'm gonna give you another example of this. Like when I was a first year associate at a law firm, I just graduated law school. This is what happens with a lot of law school students. They graduated and they, they get recruited into a firm, okay? And the firm pays you a lot of money and most of us were like a ball of anxiety going into this work. Now here's the thing, looking back first year associates are practically useless. Like you have zero actual skill as an attorney coming outta law school. You really have only learned Siri. You have no practical abilities whatsoever. Maybe that's a stretch but you know, you know how to think, you obviously know how to do some research and stuff but you don't know what you're doing.

What was amazing at the time is like we used to think like I should be able to do more. I should know more. It shouldn't take me so long. And we were always terrified that like the partners, like people are gonna be upset because I should be doing more. Now when I look back I'm like oh the partners all new. Everyone knows they have first years every year. They know that you don't know what the hell you're doing that you have no idea, right? And yet so many people, and this happens all the time with lawyers, this happens with other people that have to bill their time is we would bill like half the amount that we actually worked. So if I worked on a matter for four hours, I would only bill a client two hours of it because I thought it should only take me two hours.

Now I don't know where I got that number. I just decided that it took me too long to do this research. I should have been faster, I should have been better at this. This is where a lot of imposter syndrome comes from. Well not comes from where it comes into play. Women tend to do this way more often than men again because like we have this like insane standard that we should have just been better at this. And so we decide it just should have been faster. Other people are faster, other people have this down more than I do. And so I'm gonna keep giving of my time for free and not charging, right? And not billing. Other people do this in the same way where it's like your boss will tell you only work eight hours. I don't want you to work anymore than eight hours.

But then you've decide I should have gotten more done on these eight hours. I didn't. I wasn't actually productive all day. So I'm gonna just go home and work on this for a couple more hours. You're just giving free labor all the time, all the time, weekends, nights, like all of your life. And here's the thing, this is when I say like this goes back to like this is your employer's problem and not yours. It is on your employer to get a better understanding of how much time it takes for you to do those tasks. Uh, how much it time it takes everybody to do those tasks. I say this again now as an employer, as somebody who has employed other people, when I hired my first VA and when I hired actually this, this past VA too, I don't know how long it takes them to do things.

I haven't done those. I mean I know how long it takes me, but it's also my business. I know the ins and outs of it. I know how to do certain things cause I'm the one that came up with the system so I'm not really sure how long it should take someone, right? And it's funny because like I genuinely just don't know. And so I always like communicate though with them like you need to tell me if like you're going over the number of hours that we talked about or if you just are way under and you need something else to do, I don't know, right? But if you constantly tell me like, no, I've only done 10 hours as good, I've only done 10 hours, but you're really working 15, I will never know and then you are gonna get resentful. You are gonna get angry cuz you're putting in more hours than I asked you to do because you have some kind of assumption that you should have done more.

But like I've never said, you should have done more. And I had this experience with a VA before where she was doing way more than she should have been and I believe she got like annoyed about it. But I'm like, but how was I supposed to know that? Right? That was my problem to figure out, but I need you to tell me. And I think for so many of us we're so uncomfortable having that conversation or saying like, yeah, this is what I got through today. Now I know people already like the objections that are gonna be in your head is like, but what if I'm just bad at this job? What if I'm just not doing a good enough job? And here's my answer to that because for the most part I see that that's usually overblown. It's usually that like most people are not productive.

They've done like so many studies that like we are only really productive two hours of the day or something like that. Something like minuscule and the rest is just filler time. But fine, let's just say that there's something, you know, I don't know, not wrong with you, but like at that job, you're just not fast at that job. Okay? Wouldn't you wanna know now like maybe you're not cut out for that job, right? I'm not saying it's beyond that. I was looking at myself when I was a first year at a law firm and part of what I really took away from is like maybe I'm not cut out for this job. I'm not, not cut out to work 16 hours a day. Thank God for that by the way. Thank God I'm not cut out for that. I don't want that life, right? But wouldn't I want to know that and deal with the negative emotion that's gonna come with that?

Like so many of us are so afraid of like if I get fired or if I get a bad review or if they don't think I'm good enough or if they don't think I'm fast enough and we don't wanna feel the feeling that we're gonna have to feel at that point. Like if that happens, the embarrassment, I might have to feel the shame, the disappointment, whatever it is, the dread that I have to feel about that. I don't wanna feel that. So instead I'm gonna kill myself and I'm gonna feel terrible all the time so that in the hopes that I just put off feeling bad at that moment, it's insane, right? You're like, I'm just gonna never take a break and I'm gonna work overtime and I'm gonna not bill for it and I'm gonna give them double the hours and I'm gonna do double the work so that I maybe don't have to really grapple with the fact that maybe I'm not cut out for this job or maybe this employer needs more than I'm willing to give.

I don't know. But like can I just deal with that? Can I be like, you know what, this is the amount that I can do in these hours. If that's not good enough, that's okay. I can find something else for me. I can find a place where I can have balance or I can't have breaks or I can do a job that doesn't completely burn me out. And so I really want you all to really think about, I know with this one it's like it, it's sort of like the ego we're protecting kind of. I think for so many of us, the amount of shame that we would feel if we were like not good enough at a job or if we were fired from a job, which I'm gonna do an episode on as well. But I want you to really like think about that and think about how much you're going to kill yourself in order to feel liked or feel like you're good enough or feel like you're good enough at a job.

nd like can we just manage our mind around those thoughts and be able to advocate for ourselves and be able to say like, I'm not gonna overwork, I'm not gonna work more than the hours that you're paying me. You're paying me for a job, I'm gonna do that job and that's it. And when those eight hours are done, that's what I'm, I'm gonna put it off till the next day. Right? Now again, I know that some jobs I should give the caveat, I understand that some jobs pay you to work as many hours as it requires, I guess. And you have to decide if that's worth it for you. And you have to decide if that's even true. Like even when I was at the big firm that I was at, I really thought I had to put in more hours than I probably actually did.
I saw other people that took time off, that went home early, that did all these things and I just had assumed that I couldn't because I was so worried that people were gonna think that I wasn't a hard enough worker or that I wasn't a team player or that I wasn't a good enough lawyer or whatever my insecurities were. And so you just wanna question it like, is it really necessary for me to work at all hours of the day and respond to every email and to put in 16 hours a day? Or am I just trying to protect myself from this feeling of not feeling good enough or not feeling worthy enough and like, do I wanna just work on that coming to the club? We'll help help you work on those thoughts so that you can actually like take some time off and only do the work that you're supposed to do and bill for that time and not do extra work.

Okay? Lastly, I will say this one is a little bit more tricky, but I see this again and it's really like a case by case basis, but so many of you are putting out emergencies that are created by your employers. And again, that's not your problem. Now again, that might be a little bit more tricky. It's a little harder, but I'll give you an example of mine again that just because I'm in this like, it's like I have to have a podcast done by a certain point, right? To get it to my editor and then to get it to my va. Let's say like I have to have my podcast done by Friday, okay? And then I get to them or let's say, yeah, Friday and then they get it done by Saturday. Let's just say if I don't have the podcast done by S till Sunday, if I'm like, oh, I went on vacation or I just didn't get to it, or I've just been out of it or whatever and I get it done by Sunday, that's not their emergency, that's not their problem, right?

That's my issue to figure out now, okay, well, looks like I'm gonna have to edit it myself or I'm gonna have to pay them more, or I'm just gonna like have to do, you know, upload it or find someone else or whatnot. Right? Now, again, I know I have the wherewithal to maybe understand that and cuz I do a lot of thought work and I worry about this stuff and other bosses may not. Other employers might be like, Hey, we didn't get to this earlier. Like can you do this now? But again, this is where we decide like where do I wanna advocate for myself and where do I wanna let it go? Where do I wanna just be a team player and where am I not even making that calculation? Where am I just allowing it to be like, oh, well they, they said jump.
So I have to say how high they said do this so I just have to do it right? Do I really like if your boss goes on vacation or you know, decides on a whim to start a new project and asks you to like stay late to do it, do you really have to do it? Can you have that conversation? Can you have the conversation of like, this is the stuff I'm working on, I can't just drop. What would you like me to do with all this? I'm not gonna like have enough time to do both, right? Can I at least have enough to bring it to their attention that this isn't gonna work? This is not gonna be like a long term thing right now. Again, the reason I say this is trickier is I understand some things you know you have to deal with like the timing of like what happens with clients or when something comes in or there might be an emergency.

I'm not saying that you can always be like, that's not my problem, I'm not gonna work on it. But I do think what I have seen for a lot of people is that like they work with people who maybe are disorganized, which by the way, I'm that person. So like I'm not saying there's tons of employers that are just trying to figure it out, but I see so many employees that just take it on and then become bitter and angry and resentful. They're just like, Ugh, he gets it to me last minute and then I just have to do it. And I'm always like, why do you have to do it? Why not have that conversation of like, I've already told you if I can't get it before Thursday, then I won't get it done by Friday, right? You can't give it to me Friday at one and expect me to have it done by five.

It takes me more than this or whatever the situation might be. It's just worth understanding. Is this my problem? Is this what I was hired to do? Or is this me wanting to be liked by everyone? Is this me wanting to be the star employee? Is this me being terrified that I might get a bad review or I might get fired if I say no? And that's something I'm gonna have to grapple with again, I might not wanna deal with that. So it's like I'm gonna do everything. I just want us to become intentional and I want us to question like, is this somewhere I wanna work? Is this somewhere where I wanna be? Is this a skill I wanna learn to like advocate for myself? And if so, what does that look like for me? And where you start with that is just by understanding what are my problems that are part of my job that I'm paid to do and what are my employer's problems?

And I want you to stop taking on your employer's problems, give it back to them. It's their business. When you get to reap the rewards of business and you get to make all the profit or whatever it is, then you also have to deal with some of the problems that come with employees that come with staffing, that come with covering vacations, that come with all that stuff. They can handle it. It's their business. Let them handle it. It's not yours. Figure out what's your problem and stick with that. And if you need help figuring out where those roles lie and how you can have those tough conversations, join us in the Quitter Club. That is my monthly membership where I help you manage your own mind around these things. Figure out where is the time to speak up and where isn't, figure out how to do it and get coaching on all of it.

So you can go to lessons from ac club or closed right now, but you can get on the wait list and you'll be notified as soon as we open. All right, my friends, I hope this was helpful. Go out and just worry about your own problems. All right, I'll see you guys next week. Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from a club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.