Close this search box.

The dangers of putting career before health

Is being ambitious still a good thing?

I set my self a target to be a Director by the time I was 50. According to research by the Family and Work Institute in the US most people stop jostling for promotion at 35 coinciding with child care responsibilities. Not me, I dragged my family around the country in pursuit of my goal. However that was not the most destructive element of my ambition. After 18 months in post I would start looking for a new job. I was far too impatient to wait for an opportunity to arise locally I increased my chances by applying all over the country.

Hardly a month went by when I didn’t submit an application, attend a short listing interview and prepare for the final interview. I attended a lot of interviews and spent a lot of Friday nights and Monday mornings waiting for the phone to ring. It ruined a lot of weekends. My success rate to interviews was disappointing but I did change jobs roughly every 3 years. In only one case was I desperate to leave because I was unhappy with the job and my boss. It was ambition that drove me.

I was not so unusual for my generation but future generations will consider such behaviour strange and difficult to understand. Some HR commentators are already claiming organisations are witnessing the end of ambition due to the great resignation following the pandemic, the desire for a better work life balance and a  “it’s not worth the hassle “  attitude from generation Z.
Perhaps rather that the end of ambition it’s more a case of people’s ambitions changing from being about career success to work life balance.
Two things eventually changed my attitude a mentor asking me if I enjoyed my work and the people I worked with why was I applying for other posts where there was no garente it would be as good. So I stopped applying. Stayed. Ironically I was made a Director. But by the age of 53 I needed a quadruple heart bypass, the damage was done!

    Read more

    Latest News

    Read More

    Three Euro Cup Lessons HR Pros Can Learn

    12 July 2024


    Receive the latest HR news and strategic content

    Please note, as per the GDPR Legislation, we need to ensure you are ‘Opted In’ to receive updates from ‘theHRDIRECTOR’. We will NEVER sell, rent, share or give away your data to third parties. We only use it to send information about our products and updates within the HR space To see our Privacy Policy – click here

    Latest HR Jobs

    Manufacturing Experience Preferred Strong ER Skills Desirable 1 day WFH per week. Job Title: HR Director – 12m FTC Salary: £90,000 pa Location: Buckinghamshire Contract

    Job Title: HR Director – 12m FTC Salary: £90,000 pa Location: Buckinghamshire Contract length: 12m FTC. Hybrid: 4 days in office and 1 WFH. JGA

    Director of People Reports to: CEO Galop Salary: £60k–£65k Contract: 12 months Fixed Term Contract Hours: Full-time or Part-Time (5-4 days per week) -with flexible

    Hobson Prior is on the lookout for a dynamic HR Director to drive business transformation within a global pharmaceutical company. Manage day-to-day HR tasks and

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE