Work, Life & Love

Today’s post is a bit late because I didn’t have any post planed and  I’ve been caught up trying to get myself together…don’t worry I’m not moving out of Lagos (because that would mean closing down the blog) but today will be my last day at my current job. Yes, I am saying goodbye to the life of late hours and working on weekends to face one where I control my time to an extent. In a way, I am happy yet nervous at what life has to hold; although, if there’s anybody more excited than I am then it would be my mother.

Mama Gidi (like most mothers) is of the opinion that leaving this job would give me time to have  a social life, a healthy relationship and possibly get married within a year (okay i exaggerate but you get my point) while I am just happy to be chasing my dreams and doing what it is that I have always wanted to do but of course this isn’t about chasing dreams..it’s about having a work-life balance as a single person in a city like Lagos.

I must admit that having a demanding job can affect anyone’s social life negatively. I can recall how many times I have had to call off dates or hangouts because I had to work late and sometimes cancelling last-minute because something unexpected came up which needed my attention. It usually starts out small but eventually it becomes uncontrollable to the point that no one remembers that you even exist because you are now married to your job.

In our world of double standards, men with demanding jobs get away with this because the girlfriends/women always understand especially if it’s a good paying job ( gifts make the women happy I suppose). On one night while working on a deadline with colleagues, I noticed that my team lead (or supervisor) had his girlfriend over in the office, waiting for him before they would head out for the night. I remember leaving the office at midnight, assuring her that he would be done soon and they could go about their business for the night. That encounter made me think because God knows no naija man will wait for his woman to finish from work at almost midnight because wetin happen? Is she the only single woman in Lagos? …again maybe I exaggerate or maybe that one guy that told me I was not ready to settle down because of my crazy work hours was just irrational and insensitive.

If you look around you in Lagos, you will notice that a lot of women who are very successful especially in the financial industry tend to be single, I am not denying the fact that there could be other factors influencing this observation but is it possible that the lack of time for a social life could be a contributing factor? How can single women with demanding jobs find a balance or should we be picking flexible jobs so we can create that time?

I really want to know what the ladies think, please feel free to share your experience/thoughts and of course the men are welcome to share their opinion…

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10 thoughts on “Work, Life & Love

  1. Demanding jobs and long hours are definitely a hindrance for women, especially single ones, in Lagos. At least married women with kids can always play the children card when it gets to 6 or 7pm, but single women just get the short end of the stick. The catch 22 though is that where you think it might be easy to meet a guy you work with, many of those same men probably want a woman that isn’t so ‘career minded’. Not saying that women shouldn’t work demanding jobs or want long careers, but just that Nigerian makes it necessary to sometimes sacrifice other aspects of your lives.

    Good for you jare. Go on and chase those dreams, including that of one day getting married, whenever the time is right for you.

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  2. This is arguably, the biggest issue affecting most young professionals. Finding that work- life balance has been as elusive as finding an honest woman to marry in Lagos [i know I would be castrated for this, lol but fuck it tho]. And I must agree with Miss Gidi.. It’s not favorable to the female gender because while most Nigerian men are not patient, the womenfolk are subjected to a bit of gender inequality and are made to put in twice the effort to get rewarded… Especially in a situation where one black sheep/ sharp baby is pracking the boss to get ahead professionally.
    But in the end, if we are honest with ourselves, that power to balance out our work and life relationship, lies with us. You have to win some and you have to lose some. We need to be honest and tell ourselves, what matters to us and then take steps to prioritize based on that list.
    I had to resign from my banking job after it cost me a very good relationship.
    We simply need to create that time, otherwise that time that you need to do other things will never be available.

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  3. This is an issue women face world wide. Balancing career and social life. I think men face it too and that’s why online dating has become so popular in other countries. Busy professionals just don’t have much time for dating sadly.
    But for the record, I’ve waited for my husband in his office plenty of times, and he’s waited for me in mine too! ( So keep hope alive!)

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  4. Oh one more thing. As for picking the job with enough balance…what was it Cheryl Sandberg said? “Don’t make sacrifices now for children you don’t have yet”
    I agree whole heartedly and think that applies to dating as well. If naijahusband had refused to work a demanding job because he’d one day have to make time for a wife and family, he wouldn’t have been able to achieve what he’s achieved presently. If I’d refused to apply for my job as well because one day “I hope to have a husband”, then I’d be scraping the bottom barrel in terms of a career.
    Please. While you’re young and single do what makes sense for your ambitions. Pursue those goals while you still have the energy and strength if you can. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed you know, so if you wait until you have kids and a husband first before making sacrifices, there’s only a plus side.
    Also, yes it’s true that being busy affects your social life but guess what? We always “magically” find a way to make time for what’s important to us. Always. It just has to be important enough

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  5. I can totally agree with that as well. I work in advertising and it is not strange or out of place for me to leave my office at past 12 on the days when there are pressing deadlines and tons to do. But then again, it’s something that everyone in my team has to deal with so, I’m not really complaining as such *Shrug.

    But working crazy hours, weekends inclusive has definitely taken a toll on my dating life. However, I don’t mind as much. The guys I meet respect the fact that I work crazy hours (and have workaholic tendencies) and go with that. So, on the days when I do have some free time (or my leave), I use it to make up for the other times when I’m not available. It’s all spoiling, and having said guy be the focus of my attention for that duration of time; my way of saying sorry and giving him enough to milk during this time of plenty,, because we both know that the time of famine is following closely behind *shrug.

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  6. First of, I’d like to say I’m a big fan of your blog.
    On the other hand, I’ve always been a firm believer that women should chase their career dreams to the max if they are single; there’s just this level of sexiness a woman at the pinnacle of her career gives off to men(even though they’d never admit it). Having a great career, also helps weed out the unserious men, and bring in the over qualified ones, who sometimes would understand the constraints the job enforces, and conform to those constraints.

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  7. Congrats. I have said it to you fifty mil times already.
    There has to be some sort of balance in life. You will definitely find your path a lot easier when you are less stressed. As for finding that partner, it will come irrespective of what it is you are doing.
    Working long hours without what you believe is the rightful reward will lead to being unhappy. That combined with traffic in lagos is enough to kill a person.
    I left finance to education. My hours will be long but setting up the nursery school so far has been my most fulfilling undertaking in terms of peace of mind and happiness. What i previously considered one of my biggest achievements- 5 years of writing billion $ budgets for the war and living in 5 star hotels pales in comparison. Many people think i lost my mind, but it works for me.
    http://www.pynk360.com

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  8. I’m all about getting the most out of my career while I’m young and able. In my case, I work for myself, so I’m usually working till my eyes start to droop at 2am. On vacations, my laptops go with me and it is not uncommon for me to buy a mi-fi for road trips that do not provide adequate wi-fi services when abroad. I don’t see it as a hindrance in social life, most of the guys I’ve dated work for themselves and understand the reality of making sure you can keep your staff paid while taking care of personal business. I handle my business by taking it with me whenever I realize I’ve become a hermit and I need to get out of my box. And seriously thank God for mobile devices that keep business in check when I can’t be there physically. I see this slave labor as the investment I have to put in before I clock 35 and pray that my hard work pays off into having an easier to manage sort of business. Even though my work takes up a lot of time, I make sure to travel as often as I can afford to while making sure the hotels I’d be staying at has on point internet service because I have to catch up on work in the evening after all of my jollifications. I know other folks who have similar work background, yet they take a break once a year (christmas week), never make the time to be social because they think their business would collapse if they relax a little. When things are important to you, you simply have to make it work and find a balance. I love my job, I love meeting people, I love hanging out with friends, I absolutely love traveling, and I love doing absolutely nothing but lay in vegetative state once in a while. It is all about finding the balance, prioritizing the way time is spent, and simply making it work in the most absurd situations. #yolo

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  9. It affects men too. The key here is to maximize ya weekends. I’m never the kind that do social events on week days anyways.

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