Burnout. Your Effective Hourly Rate Sucks!
We work too much. It's repulsive how much it is promoted in jobs today. Vacation is a carrot and work-life balance means you're stuck doing the balancing.
The trend I've seen touted lately is an unlimited vacation policy. Of course, it comes with strings attached. Another complementary trend, "as long as you get your work done."
As if there is some sort of finish line. I have worked for years, in professional services, there is no finish line.
So, why do we allow it? The salary. And, that's the lie.
Your effective hourly rate
Let's assume an annual salary of $80,000. Included, is one week of company paid holidays and two weeks of paid vacation. If you work those 49 weeks at 40 hours a week, that's roughly $40 an hour.
That's 1,960 hours of work a year. Fine. But, how does this stack up to reality?
How often will you be asked to stay late for an important meeting, finish a report before heading home, or travel to a client after hours? If you're anything like my colleagues, you will find a reason to do 45, 50, or maybe 60 hours of work every week.
Perhaps, your vacation time will go unused and worse, you'll be upset when others take the time-off they've earned.
If you fall victim to these things, in the end, you will have amassed an extra 600 hours of work for the year.
Guess what? You are now earning at an effective rate of $30 an hour. The harsh reality is, your employer values your time at a rate that's 25% lower than you thought. That's the truth.
Take control before you burnout
Take the time-off you earn each year. Conspire with your colleagues and cover for each other, so it's not painful to come back to the office after taking time.
Tell your boss you are willing to put in the extra effort on the big-ticket items, but you'll be tracking your work-life balance. Expect to have a follow-up conversation.
Or, if you are a workaholic, at least capitalize on that time. At a $160 per hour consulting rate, those 600 hours can catapult you into a six-figure income.