29 Mar Why was my laptop with me in Tulum?
If you’re like me, an insecure overachiever who also suffers from bouts of imposter syndrome, you’ve probably found yourself at some point in your working life, on vacation looking out at a postcard perfect view, whilst lazing about poolside with cocktails, taking sporadic shots of tequila… Laptop open… Overriding your very own “out of office” email.
As I sit now, a self-proclaimed (yet to be professionally proven) recovering workaholic; drinking bubbly on a weekday afternoon because I am currently on a career break, I can confidently say that insecure overachiever’s should be locked out of their emails when they go on vacation.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term insecure overachiever, I first heard it when one of my bosses was talking about management consultants and how they are super capable, very ambitious… essentially bloody good at what they do, but for some reason, they are motivated by this belief that they’re not good enough or aren’t doing enough. I am not sure whether that is true or not of management consultants, but I have two sisters who are or have been in management consulting and they kind of work very hard. He then went on to explain how he intentionally hires people he identifies as insecure overachievers to be on his teams (yours truly included), because he knows they will get sh*t done with very little support or guidance. They’ll silently step in and handle stuff, wrangle, deal, lead and deliver.
Taking the “you’re bloody good at what you do” feedback and chucking out the rest of it, I continued to be my own worst enemy. As I constantly overrode my OOO, because I was nervous if I wasn’t accessible to my team or clients etc that things wouldn’t get dealt with (eye roll). I kept teaching everyone around me that it’s okay to contact me when you know I am OOO on a well-deserved, well-planned vacation. Because deep down inside; even though I wrote in my performance appraisal that my goal is to have my team not need me and for everything to run smoothly without me; I don’t think I really liked the idea of going on vacation leave and everything working without me, because then it might mean that I am not doing enough to warrant being there and being of value.
Well that got deep really quickly…Haha
I started off this blog post in my head wanting to whinge (yes… that is the perfect word to describe what I was going to do) about how companies need to be firmer with regards to enforcing boundaries between colleagues around respecting people’s time off. How my current burn out is because, even though I got to take a lot of trips and “breaks” during my working career, those breaks weren’t actually breaks, because of the number of times people would send emails or texts with “I know you’re on leave” in response to my OOO email. I was going to point fingers at everyone, but then I realised, two glasses of bubbly in… that I am or was the problem. Why was my work laptop in Tulum with me? Why did I open my emails? Why did I reply to the email?
So, yeah… insecure overachievers should be locked out of their emails when they go on vacation.
With love and admiration