Skip to main content
Season 2, Episode 4: "Does my career have to define me? Or can I just clock out?"

Season 2, Episode 4: “Does My Career Have to Define Me? Or Can I Just Clock Out?”

I like me a timely discussion. Especially when it’s completely unplanned!

Which is definitely the case with this week’s episode of the BGR podcast. We recorded it in… April? May? (Time is a flat circle infected with COVID-19 so who fucking knows???) And yet it directly links to my story about getting laid off, which we published just a few weeks ago.

Toward the end of my job, I was really struggling with work/life balance, and making choices to prioritize my employment—not even my career, but just holding onto a job it turns out I didn’t really need—over my happiness. In short, I was balancing work and life all wrong.

Which leads us directly to this week’s illustrious podcast question asker!

This week’s question

An anonymous Tumblr follower asks…

Bitches, halp. I don’t want to do amazing shit for my job. I just want a steady 9-5 with routine, white-collar work I can drop and forget the second my feet cross my home threshold. I’m in the EU, so this kinda job still exists over here, lucky me. But damn if I don’t feel bombarded from all sides with “LOVE YOUR JOB; YOUR JOB DEFINES YOU; YOU = YOUR JOB; IF YOU DON’T HUSTLE 24/7 YOU’RE A FAILURE.” How the fuck do I kick that outta my brain? I just wanna earn money, feed my cat, and play games, dammit.”

You’ve got to admire the pure simplicity of this question. They’re not looking for passion and fulfillment inside the workplace… because they’re planning on getting it through their rich personal life! And yet this seems so antithetical to every fucking “LOVE YOUR JOB AND YOU’LL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE” inspirational poster hanging in a middle manager’s office.

Can one truly just rake in a paycheck and then completely disconnect? Leave work at the office and revel in truly free personal time? Let’s find out!

For more on this topic:

Our patrons are the wind beneath our wings. Without them, season two of the podcast simply would not have happened. We literally can’t stop thanking our Patreon donors for all the support they give us. Which is why we reward their loyalty with patented BGR goodies, like exclusive merch, monthly article topic polls, and direct, 24/7 access to our Bitchy guidance. If you want to join the ranks of Bitches Get Riches supporters, head on over to our Patreon page!

4 thoughts to “Season 2, Episode 4: “Does My Career Have to Define Me? Or Can I Just Clock Out?””

  1. Good question, good answer. To get “your job is you” out of your mind, it helps to take the long view. I’ve seen a post a few times that says something like, “Nobody on their deathbed ever said ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office.’ ” But plenty of people regret not spending more time with family and friends, or doing fun things, or traveling, or whatever.
    I’m one of your older listeners (62) and wouldn’t be 25 again for anything. I have taken an unconventional path in a line of work that often owns and consumes people, and I have no regrets. (Won’t be retiring early since much of my early career was in poorly compensated but significant public service, but that’s OK too – I’m satisfied with the two completely unrelated part-time gigs I have, and can call myself semi-retired.)

  2. I think I would have to get a lot of therapy to separate my personal identity from my job. We seriously thought about me quitting and us moving to Paradise where there are no jobs for me and once it was a serious thought… I just couldn’t. Severe anxiety. (Definitely not true for #2 on our blog who is much more centered with herself, I think. Most social sciences aren’t quite as all consuming as economics, I think.)

    We’ve got a question on our blog today from a reader wanting to know if she can retire… and it turns out we suck at answering those kinds of questions.

  3. Long ago I mentioned my switch to this mentality to my best friends and you’d have thought I lit a puppy on fire. Like, they were offended but couldn’t really grasp why. And I was taken aback by their reaction as well. We had just been talking about how shitty aspects of our jobs were and work-life balance. There is definitely a weird 1950s-style hold-over of company loyalty. At the end of the day it’s a business contract.

  4. Yessss! I loved this.
    When you were talking about people with anxiety who have lists and get a lot done I was like ‘what!!! Are. you. doing. inside my head??’

    And yes yes to ‘church of productivity’ is evil. (Okay my words not yours). So true: burnout and stress are a plague upon our times (another one..)

    Also: the sustained choir note metaphor is freaking amazing. I think another relevant term here is – ‘compassion fatigue’ which ties in with ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup aka gotta take care of yourself too’.

    A++ bitches. I may now go and binge listen to a bunch of previous podcasts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *