Ellie Strejlau

Follow Your Own Path

There is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to career advice.
425 words — Approx. 2 minutes
Photo by Sharissa Johnson on Unsplash

It feels like every week someone on Twitter has a take that can actually cause some people harm. One of the latest is this one:

Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is to work on the weekends. — Jordan Kong (@ImNotJK) June 11, 2021

I personally disagree with this. This person may have advanced from working weekends, but I never really got much out of working on the weekends except for burnout. I don’t think this is actually an unpopular opinion either; if likes are equal to agreement, then as of my writing this post over 16,000 people agree with it. A ton of people have played into hustle culture, including myself. As I write this, it’s 11:30 PM Eastern Time on a weekday and I’m still sitting at my computer. If you’re not careful, you can also work yourself to death.

I’m going to reiterate something I and many others have said before. No one’s life path is the same as anyone else’s. That is to say: working on weekends might be a chore for one person and a joy for another. Some people prefer to clock out on time and not touch their work again until the next work day. Those kinds of people prefer to set and enforce boundaries to protect their personal time. Either way, people shouldn’t be judged for their preference of what they do in their personal time. Being pushed in a direction you don’t naturally feel inclined to go is only going to result in burnout.

The best thing that young people can do early in their careers is doing what is best for them in that moment. Do what you think that you 10 years from now would be proud of. If you have personal time on the weekends where you want to work, go for it. If you’re not the type who likes to spend your personal time working and a company you’re interviewing for cites that as a requirement, run.

Unpopular opinion: do what works for you. There is no “best thing”. People on both sides of this seem so certain that their way is the best way. — Cybergibbons (@cybergibbons) June 14, 2021

I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you feel inclined to work on the weekend, I only ask that you make sure your basic human needs are being met: eat healthy meals, hydrate often, take breaks, get enough sleep/exercise, etc. Healthy and well-rested minds and bodies are more productive.

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