I’m sure you’ve heard the advice from well-meaning relatives or job gurus who want you to “be the best you can” and “succeed in any job”. If you give 100% to your job, you’re going to stand out from the crowd, get those big promotions, and make things happen!
But this is terrible advice. This is advice you should absolutely never follow, because it sounds great on paper but will actually ruin your life in practice!
Burnout is Real
The burnout rate is real, for a lot of different professions. Giving your 100% every moment of your day is going to lead to it, too. You might be able to handle a high volume for a day or a week. Maybe a month. But every single day for years and years? That’s not realistic.
It’s important to always try hard, but maybe consider giving more like 80% every single day. Reserve that extra 20% for when something bad really goes down and you need to make things right.
Pushing yourself by giving your all, all the time is going to lead you to be less productive in the long run. If you experience burnout, you’re going to be tired, run-down, less focused and unable to do your job properly anyway.
That won’t get you that promotion you want, or that raise you need. It will just leave you feeling bad and stuck in your current position.
It’s Just Not Possible
Giving your 100%, 100% of the time, isn’t possible. You can’t always be on top of your game. If you’re having an off day, you are sick, or everything is just going wrong, your performance will appear to take a steep dive. When you have an 80% day after working weeks at 100%, people will think you are slacking off… even when you’re working just as hard as everyone else.
You can’t always be on top of everything, and trying to do so is crazy.
You’ll Set Unrealistic Expectations
Your boss is always going to expect more from you. If you can do all of these things, you could also do x and y, right?
It’s just natural. As you get better at your job, you will be asked to absorb more tasks and duties. But you can’t give 110%, can you? That is eventually what will be asked of you. And if you have to say no, your boss may think you are actually less capable than an employee who works less hard, simply because they don’t turn down extra projects or tasks in emergencies.
It’s a great idea to say that you should always give your 100% to your employers, but let’s be honest… what employer truly has your best interest in mind? Don’t let yourself burnout because of a job, and keep your sanity. Give 100% of the time when it’s needed, but otherwise? Do your work, do it to the best of your ability, and keep yourself sane. You’ll last longer and feel an awful lot better for it.