Work life balance is impossible during lockdown
Even in routine lifestyle costs, youngsters must carefully plan as financial stress can be fateful. Image Credit: Shutterstock

I am seeing a worrying trend with young professionals dealing with a lot of financial stress at the workplace. What is baffling is that these are not a result of genuine financial needs but more because of their overindulgence in lifestyle spending.

Early into their careers, these start clamouring for too many materialist things. Their wish list involves a lot of lifestyle elements, which brings tremendous pressure upon the individuals’ mindsets and takes away the requisite engagement in their job itself. These would go on to impact the longer term development of their careers. I see this issue in most of my interviews with the young, who tend to navigate jobs based on materialistic options than the job content itself. Early careers at the workplace require a little more focus on work than losing their minds on lifestyle requisites. The obsession with work-life balance forces an inability to zero in on priorities.

My contention is that the wish list must be mapped with stages of their career, professional and personal development. Each acquisition comes with specific responsibility and related cost that needs careful managing. The ability to make such decisions needs specific mental and personality preparedness, and so requires time. Especially in the early stages of your career, any EMI-related stress can be detrimental to managing the current job needs and any future opportunities.

Erode career chances

Such obligations often overwhelm young people and hold them to ransom. Not for a moment do I mean that these must be ignored, but such lifestyle obligations need to be aligned to multiple essentials - income, time, and the mental ability to deal with its needs. For example, owning a house may bind you as moving to another place for a career enhancement may not be feasible, as the related financial arithmetic may not work.

Even in routine lifestyle costs, youngsters must carefully plan as financial stress can be fateful. I do not recommend that they cut down on basics or follow minimalism, but they must ensure affordability.

Many might wonder that I am stereotyping young ones - I am not, but I do see many of my young colleagues stung by this bug. What they do need is time to plan, invest and concentrate on job requirements and combined with a mindset to manage their work-life balances.

Generational change

We used to see earlier with our parents an approach that harked on future security and financial stability. That was indeed not right as they used to compromise on self-actualisation.

While work does have its challenges and does have its stress levels, financial burdens are often fatal. Most researchers point to this aspect as a major spoiler in the workplace. If stress factor at the workplace needs to be neutralised or reduced for young professionals, then, of course, lifestyle preferences need to be managed.