Always have a life beyond work



All things being equal, I told him, I would always vouch for the candidate who has a life beyond work, who is capable and yet not self-centered and who thinks of the common good and not personal glory”, Soo Ewe Jin, StarBiz 5 October 09- Soft Skills- an often overlooked asset.

Update: Soo Ewe Jin had passed away in November 2016. He would be missed. ?

Soo Ewe Jin was writing on the advice that he gave to his headhunter friend who had problem choosing between 2 candidates for top position in a well-known company.

It is true that work alone should not define us.  One need to led a full life out of work- because if work is everything to us, then:

  • we tend to be too serious in our work and unable to lighten up or relax- people is tensed when being around us
  • our personal relationships suffer because we either spend too much time in the office, or when we are with our loved ones or friends, we talk non stop about work
  • we lose the ability to work objectively- when a person is not relaxed or loosen up, creative problem solving or thinking out-of-the-box is not possible
  • we feel dissapointed again and again when faced with common work situation such as a close colleague resigning, or left out when our colleagues would rather spend their after work time elsewhere than in the office

Some people think that you need to give 101% to the company to be considered a star or a performer. But all you do is to put in late nights, come to work on Sundays and taking up additional tasks or responsiblities (even though you don’t have to), ultimately you  may not deliver as the next person who is more relaxed and goes back on time.

That person can perform because during working hours, her focus is there on work instead on office gossip and politics or surfing the net. She does not take on more than she can do and is able to organise and plan her task and deliverables.

There is a reason why people need to be given off days every 5 days instead of 7 days. There is a reason why there is a one hour lunch break in between of the 8 hours of work. When it is time for a break, try to really take a break and come back refreshed.

Furthermore, if we have a life beyond work and really enjoy our personal lives, people find us more interesting to be around and look forward to our company. And we must realise that ‘life’ should be defined in our own definition, according to our interests.

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