Sam's Space

Random thoughts and experiences about navigating life in New York City.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Working Late

Today, for the first time in a long while I worked pretty late. I was in the office until after 9, having gotten to work at 8:20, I was already pushing a 12+ hour day. And for the first time in an even longer time, I didn't feel guilty about working late.

The first 3 years of my career I worked hard. Really hard. Worked late all the time, especially once I moved into the city and could easily get home in 20 minutes. I had to. I had to put in the time, get noticed and recognized for my work and move up the corporate ladder as quickly as I could. My industry is great for advancement, but you really only make barely enough to support yourself for the the first few years. Establishing myself as a smart and dedicated professional was truly important to me. And my hard work paid off. I found a niche of my industry that I really excelled in and began getting the promotions I wanted. Eventually, I became comfortable enough in where I was that I didn't have to put in long hours multiple times a week. I became more efficient and always got my work done so I could leave at 6 most of time.

However, every now and then if there was something big at work or a coworker was on vacation, I never minded having to stay in the office late. I liked being part of a team, and never wanted to leave a team member in the office late. Sometimes it was even my own personal preference to stay late and get ahead so that the following days would be a little easier.

When you are dating someone, those longer nights in the office can become a problem, even if they aren't regular. Feeling torn about being in the office when there was someone who wanted to see me and someone I wanted to see. Feeling guilty knowing that someone was waiting for my phone call who might be annoyed if I got too tired and didn't want to talk too late. Having little arguments over whether or not we could make plans because I wasn't sure if I would be needed in the office late. All of these things are emotionally draining. Perhaps they even aided in the breakup...but I find that hard to believe. I think if you are able to see your significant other 3 times a week and you live about an hour or so away from one another, that the relationship should be able to work if everything else works. But when one person is pursuing their dreams and the other is in a different stage of life, I guess it's just not meant to work out.

Anyway, the conclusion here is another positive thing about being single...not feeling guilty if I need to put my career first for a few days a month. Not being distracted or worried if there's a job that needs to be done. It's all sort of refreshing for a change. It also helps me recognize that I need to be with a partner who has their own career aspirations and responsibilities because those are the people who truly understand the benefits and value of a few extra hours in the office and would never be resentful of me for being a dedicated professional.


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