How to Give Your Career Your All – Without Sacrificing Your Wellbeing

These days, ‘hustle culture’ encourages us to chase our dreams and work hard to achieve our career goals. And it’s not just ‘hustle culture’ that influences this ideology - we’re also driven by various motivations that include personal ambition, the rising cost of living, growing families, and a desire to ‘have it all’. None of these ambitions are bad, in fact, being ambitious is healthy and can promote happiness, satisfaction and a good sense of self. But it can be difficult to know how to pursue your goals without sacrificing your wellbeing and burning out in the process. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re giving your career your all without compromising your mental, emotional and physical health.

1. Set Achievable Goals

If you’re an ambitious person chasing promotions and looking to grow your career and earn power, it’s likely that you’re a goal-getter. Having goals is great, and most career coaches would encourage this because it’s a really good way to both measure and action your success. However, there’s an art to setting goals that are both achievable and sustainable. Setting small goals can be a great way to stay motivated without taking on too much. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking big (and overexerting yourself to deliver on this), but small, consistent, and incremental wins accumulate and have just as much impact. According to the HR Director, in 2023, 53% of employees across the UK feel overwhelmed by their workload. Setting realistic goals can help you to avoid burnout and keep you on track.

2. Take Breaks

But seriously, take your breaks! You might think that powering through lunch or working outside of your usual hours will help you to achieve more, but in reality, taking regular breaks throughout the day can help to recharge and make you far more productive. You can use your breaks to refuel with a nutritious meal/snack, catch-up with a friend or family member, take a walk, play with/cuddle your pet or even do a short meditation. By finding moments in the day to focus on wellbeing, you’re less likely to feel off balance.

3. Prioritise Self-Care

Building on the above, make sure to prioritise self-care and dedicate time each day to do something you enjoy. This could be anything from reading a book to taking a walk in the park. It's important to remember that looking after your wellbeing should be a priority in your life, not something that falls by the wayside the minute things get busy. Try to remember that it’s not selfish to take time for yourself and that you don’t have to feel torn between your personal and professional life.

4. Ask for Help

Many adults across the UK feel like they can't ask for help when they need it – especially when it comes to their workload and professional responsibilities. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help. Chat with your team, discuss it with your manager and together, figure out a way to share the load. You can also reach out to a mentor or business coach for advice if you prefer to seek external help.

5. Celebrate Your Wins, Big and Small

It's important to celebrate your wins and take the time to appreciate your hard work. Sometimes, on the hamster wheel of chasing goals, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come and all that you’ve already achieved. Acknowledging your wins along the way reminds you that you’re making progress and you’ve already a reached a place you once dreamed of. Remember to celebrate your wellbeing successes too, such as getting enough rest, taking your breaks and managing your stress levels with honesty and maturity.