Success At Work - Crash, Band, Wallop?


by Ben Batten

In my job of recruiting seeing people/candidates burnt out, exhausted and at times mentally affected enough to quit their job, even be hospitalized, unfortunately isn't such a shock to hear these days. In the last 10 weeks I've come across two cases needing medical treatment for job fatigue, the inertia of which contributes towards anxiousness, detrimentally affects self-confidence and impacts interview performance or the securing of a new job. In these two cases both were strong senior candidates at high points of their careers having achieved a great deal, who had come crashing down to consider

  • Was it all really worth it?  And –

  • Is this success?

Well looking at the fallout costs to general wellbeing even sanity it seems far greater than these two essential factors, we're holding accomplishment, senior job title, high salaries or rich lifestyles in far higher or greater regard and measures of success.


If work healthiness, productivity and or our sense of wellbeing are important to us then it would makes sense that the seeds of 'success at work' are sewn through taking observant stock-takes of how we are richly fertilising i.e. living life by the quality of our lifestyles, and generally how we're treating ourselves, and also others too  –


Success at work starts with the way we live, and in this the way we work.


This makes sense and is particularly pertinent when I'm representing someone for their next new job and note that in the last three jobs (…and probably since the start of their working career even) that they've selected certain companies or bosses that have produced similar reasons for leaving, and also joining. In other words 'push and pull factors' that have unfortunately resulted in being driven into the ground, subjecting the body and being to points of exhaustion, strain or agitation, working countless hours and forgoing sleep, eating, breathing, even getting off on the stress or pressure to drive them even further, the classic "I work better under stress". Well perhaps true to an extent, but again at what cost to the physical body, which being so delicate in all its design is to be cared for, deeply.

In considering success, whilst most of us are fully conscious about our push-pull factors, what I have learned in Recruitment is that it seems we're not so aware of –


  • Why we are choosing what we are choosing in a job/career i.e. aware of the driving force behind decisions and the cost of this to us personally, and also professionally


  • How that force is producing adverse results like mental health, depression, strained relationships, body pain/tension, or hospitalization for job fatigue.


Being honest in discerning our choices choosing instead to be aware of what might be driving us at work or a new job is not only practical thinking but also diverts any potential crash, bang, wallop of this type of 'success'. Which is not truly success.


Isn't the way we work and how this might be adversely affecting our vitality for life well worth considering? Perhaps medical intervention is a necessity and might even be considered a blessing purely because it's the only way that makes us stop – literally, physically. So what do we choose from this point on – same, same, or different?


Of course, big titles, 6 figure salaries, being the highest biller, an entrepreneur, enjoying a 'high-potential' program, making partnership or securing senior leadership is all fine to have but when it ends up costing us personally and medically then how can it be actual success? Isn't it more irresponsible-success?!


Success is in the quality or way we live life and treat ourselves and also others with care, regard, responsibility and ultimately love. If not then perhaps there's something in this about us having trouble accepting who we are, what we have, and our position in life/work…and that it's our unhappiness about this that causes us to not accept and hence push for more - to feel worth more: what we find hard to accept we find hard to love…


So is LOVE then the real success? Or at least the one staple ingredient that holds and infuses all else. Love is in the way we LIVE and so WORK. This is true success.