Work/Life Balance

Are You Jealous of Your Friend’s Job?

So, you think every one of your friends has an exciting job except for you. Feelings of envy, jealousy, or maybe even resentment can cloud your mind and cause you to doubt your feelings about your own job. Maybe it’s their company credit card that pays for all those so-called “networking dinners,” business trips to exotic places like Europe, the Bahamas, or New York City – hey, that’s exotic for some people – or invitations to all the upscale parties with very important people in the industry. While at your typical 8-5 job, the biggest perk is getting a pat on the back for a job well done.

If you sit around wondering how you can find a glamorous job, you may start to dwell on all the negative aspects of your job and completely overlook why you got into your profession in the first place. You begin to forget about the positive attributes your employer or position offers, which can take a toll on your work, attitude, and relationships. There is a fine line between admiration and jealousy, so before you become too envious of a friend’s job, keep the following in mind.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You’ve heard this expression a time or two, and it couldn’t be more true in this scenario. A job that might have the perks of travel, flashy dinners, or high profile parties could also correlate into long hours at the office, very few weekends off, and hardly any time for friends and family. People often look at other jobs and think about how much better they sound than their own jobs, but the truth is every job has its pros and cons.

Find the good in your job. Instead of thinking about all the negative aspects of your job, focus on what drew you to your job in the first place. Think about your relationships with co-workers, paid vacation time, or the time you’re able to spend away from work to be with your friends or family. Sometimes, the perks of a so-called glamorous job don’t outweigh the benefits of a traditional job.

So many of us focus on the things that we don’t have that we forget to be thankful for the things we do have. So, the next time you start feeling jealous of your friends’ jobs, stop comparing their careers with your own because they probably have things they dislike about their job as well.

Is Your Dream Job Taking over Your Real World Expectations

As children growing up in the land of opportunity, we’re told to dream big dreams for our future, and we usually do. In a poll conducted by Forbes magazine of children in New York City between the ages of 5 and 12, the most common results for their grown-up dream jobs included superhero, spy, model, firefighter, astronaut, and princess.

While some of us do grow up to be heroes who walk on the moon, fight fires, or gather international intelligence, most of us quickly discover that superhuman abilities are difficult to come by (as are the legs of a model and prince charming, sadly), but we all still pursue that “dream job,” no matter how it changes over time. But what if the dream job you’re pursuing is taking over your real world expectations? Could you be missing out on opportunities, purpose, and gratification in your current position, your job search, or even your future career for the sake of a dream?

For some, the image of becoming one’s own boss who sets their own hours and answers to no one may sound like a dream come true, but successful entrepreneurs dedicate vast amounts of time, finances, drive, and labor to build their business. The eight to five, Monday through Friday work week becomes a forgotten concept as they strive toward their goal. They’re responsible for the welfare of their employees, their family, their business, and the satisfaction of their clients.

Dreams, goals, and visions are imperative to every life, individually and collectively. It is so important to dream big, to have vision, to set goals, to work toward those goals, and achieve new heights, but it’s also important to find knowledge, experience, and value in your current circumstances and to know the realities behind your dreams and what it takes to achieve them. So if you’re dissatisfied at work, find ways to gain knowledge and learn life lessons you can use in every future endeavor. If you’re searching for a new job, consider all your options even if they don’t seem like a straight shot to your dreams. And, if you’re taking steps to achieve your castle in the sky, prepare and plan for the realities and sacrifices that come with it. Relish your weekends, love your life, kiss frogs, be a superhero to your family, and enjoy each and every moment. If you do, you’ll always feel like you’re walking on the moon.

Take Time to Reflect

Today, people everywhere are contemplating the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. Maybe you or someone you know was personally affected by this tragedy. Maybe you, like millions of others, were and still are simply struck by the enormity of the moment.

As you go throughout this day and into the weekend, whatever your situation in life, stop for a few moments and take time to reflect. In our busy world, it can be a struggle to simply find time for reflection. But taking time to reflect and appreciate your life can powerful thing. It can help you find renewed strength and motivation. It can help you see beyond your own circumstances. It can help you give beyond yourself to help meet the needs of others.

There’s no time like the present to stop, think, and find a reason to be thankful. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, and have a wonderful weekend!

Job Loss & Income Level Top Recession Career Impacts, Readers Say

According to our latest poll, job loss is the leading impact the recession has had on the careers of our readers, with 31% selecting this factor, followed by 22% selecting lower income level. In addition, 12% of readers said that fewer job prospects have been a factor in their career during this recession. 

Interestingly, 11% of our readers responded that their career had not been affected by the recession, the next most popular selection in the poll.

The non-scientific poll, which ran during the month of August, received 506 responses and asked “How has the recession impacted your career?” Respondents were asked to select one of 10 factors for which has had the biggest affect on their whole career story.

Other career impact factors ranked as follows: fewer advancement opportunities (6%), working more hours (5%), career change (3%), less work/life balance, (2%), more career opportunities (1%), and postponed education (1%).

Have you been impacted by job loss, lowered income, or fewer job opportunities? Share your stories and comments with us by clicking on the “comments” link below.

For  more information about overcoming career challenges during this recession, check out the following resources:

Bad Boss of the Week: A Christmas Carol’s Ebenezer Scrooge

Ebenezer Scrooge – the self-centered, tight-fisted, hum bug in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – is this week’s bad boss. His constant malice, degrading demeanor, and entire lack of work/life balance make him the classic bad boss.

While there’s a great deal to be said for hard work, knowing how to balance business with life is an important and necessary skill that eluded Scrooge for much of his career.  He spent most of his life at work and expected his employee, Bob Crachit, to do the same, only reluctantly giving him Christmas day off.

Have you found that your work/life balance can be more work than life?  In order to keep pace with a workaholic boss, here are three things you can do to reprioritize your life and still meet their expectations.

1. Discuss and understand your employer’s expectations
2. Take time to evaluate your goals and priorities
3. Establish an agreed-upon plan in advance, including deadlines and time off.

To view a clip of Ebenezer Scrooge in action, click here.

Share your bad boss stories at For more information about 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best and the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week, click here.

Bad Bosses: Have You Worked for One?

Most of us have had a bad boss – or two – in our work history. From the irrational to the absolutely, even clinically, insane, bad bosses and their impressions leave catastrophes in their wake. But, if you think that the icy, fear-inducing Miranda Priestly or the awkwardly dense Michael Scott couldn’t hold a candle to a chart-topping bad boss you’ve had, now’s your chance to share your story.

Express Employment Professionals is working with best-selling author Jim Stovall to gather stories for his next book, titled 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best. To share your story, visit Your identity, the employer’s identity, and the company’s name will be altered to maintain your confidentiality. If your story is selected to be among the 100 Worst Bosses stories featured, you will receive an autographed, pre-release copy of the book.

Need some bad boss inspiration to help jog your buried memories of an awful boss? Visit the Movin’ on Up blog every Friday in June and July for our highlighted Hollywood bad boss of the week. Check out this week’s bad boss highlight: The ever ridiculous Michael Scott character, on NBC’s The Office, unnecessarily worries his employees when he prematurely spills the beans about their branch office closing before corporate makes a final decision.

This Summer, Are You Looking for a Second Job?

Summer job season is upon us, which means opportunities for seasonal employment are beginning to open up. Six months ago, we asked if readers were looking for a second job to make it through the holiday season.

Today, with a reported economic upswing on the horizon, we want to know if you’re looking for a second job this summer season.

Let us know by voting in our poll, and feel free to share your summer job search stories in our comments section!