This post is from Molly, a 19 year old Digital Marketing apprentice at Google. Since starting my Instagram, I’ve got to know Molly quite well as another lovely girl on a mission to help others that aren’t sure what career they want.
Molly hasn’t gone to university and instead pursued a fantastic opportunity to be an apprentice at Google! She has shared her stories and advice over on her YouTube and Instagram to help others that aren’t sure what to do after A levels.
Below, Molly has written a piece about the concept of ‘workaholism’ and how she finds it difficult to switch off, especially when working from home.
At only a young age of 19, I wouldn’t say I could call myself a ‘workaholic’ having only worked in a full-time job for 6 months. But what’s defined as a workaholic?
Right, I would hold myself guilty. At 18, whilst my friends were anticipating results day to see if they got into university, I already knew I had secured my place at Google as an apprentice.
With people’s expectations of me skyrocketing after hearing I now worked for Google, the pressure was on. It was partly my own fault because I began to promote it on my Instagram, aiming to share my journey and give advice to students about how I got here (which I absolutely love doing nonetheless). But this brought along the pressure of always having to work on new and exciting things or show how I was succeeding at work.
At Google, I always feel the need to either catch up with those around me, or exceed people’s expectations of me to prove myself. It’s non-stop. Working from home whilst in lockdown and having the burden of ‘extra time’, makes it hard for me to not feel guilty for not utilising this to get ahead.
I am a driven person and I always work hard, that’s something I pride myself on. Working from home blurs the line of working hours too and it’s difficult to be strict with yourself when you know something needs to be done.
I’ve entered this vicious cycle of never actually switching off, my laptop is always accessible to do the odd job here and there because I’m not leaving the house. When I reflect, there aren’t many hours in the week that I’m not working on something.
I find it so hard to switch off, when I go to bed I have 101 ideas creating noise in my head, which at times can be exciting but most recently it has been really exhausting. Having no plans to distract me at the weekend, and not living with friends in London like I’m used to, has almost made me feel trapped. It’s started to affect my mental health severely. Like any feeling regarding mental health, you tend to hide the way you feel externally, in this case it’s with ‘success’.
Unfortunately, I have no solution for how to stop this because it’s something I really struggle with. But I’m really grateful for Maddie allowing me to bring light onto the situation because especially recently, social media is plastered with messages about how to ‘stay motivated’ and ‘how to keep busy’ but for those of us who feel like our brains don’t let us be still, that probably makes us feel even more pressured to keep working!
As young students we’re told that we need to work hard to get where we want to be. This is true but also remind yourself that work doesn’t define you, don’t neglect the rest of your personality, the part that your friends and family love you for. It wasn’t too long ago that I realised this aspect of my life was taking over, and yes I can’t fix it by clicking my fingers but the first step is realisation.
I hope you are all being kind and taking care of yourself and never forget to check in with those you care about.
Thank you so much to Molly for sharing her experiences of feeling like a ‘workaholic’. It’s especially hard to draw the line and stop your working day when working at home, but something we all need to do.