Strive! Achieve! Just don’t kill yourself in the process.
We're told, "work hard and you’ll do well." Most of the time, it’s true. But work too hard and you’re likely to wind up a stressed out, unproductive candidate for an early midlife crisis.
Here’s the thing: even if you love your job and career—in fact, especially if that’s the case—it’s essential to keep things in perspective. If you want to be good at what you do for the foreseeable future, you have to stay sharp and maintain focus. And the only way to do that over the long term is to give yourself a break. Go play, eat something besides fast food and learn how to say ‘no’ every once in a while. It’s all about managing yourself, and maintaining a healthy equilibrium between what you do, and who you are.
You probably realize by now that in this business, there are times when balance is impossible. (exhibit A: tax season; exhibit B: fiscal year-end) But, every little bit helps. For starters, get out and take a walk on your lunch break. (Yes, that means actually taking a lunch break.) And after those necessary periods of work-related insanity, be sure to build in some time to recharge your batteries.
Because no matter how driven you are to do a good job, burnout can have a disastrous effect on your career. By all means, push yourself. But give yourself some breathing room along the way