Singaporeans are famous for spending their entire lives at the office. Ask a typical office worker what he does during the week and he’s likely to answer flatly, “work”.
Even if your career and the money you make from it are the only things you care about in life, spending some time outside of the office could actually boost your career, believe it or not. You will not melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if you step out of the office before the sun sets.
On the other spend of the spectrum, if you spend all your time after work being a troll on the Internet or watching Korean dramas, here are some ways you should be using your time that can indirectly have an impact on your career later on.
Always be connecting with someone
It happens to many Singaporeans. Having not made a single new friend since they left school, some people just don’t bother working on their social life once they enter the working world. When their friends call them out, they fob them off with excuses—either they have to work late, or they are too tired to go out, or they have family obligations.
Unfortunately, this means that you’re entirely closing yourself off to job and business opportunities that come through your social circle, and when you find yourself jobless one day you’re going to realise you don’t have a network that wants to help you.
In your free time, make the effort to connect with the people in your life. Whether you’re asking your former classmates out for a coffee, bonding with your colleagues over drinks after work or meeting new people at a yoga class, you’ll not only be opening yourself up to new opportunities and cultivating a network, you’ll also be a lot happier—loneliness can shorten your lifespan.
Work on something you actually enjoy and want to get better at
When you were a kid, you threw yourself into any hobbies with a fervour that it’s difficult to muster as an adult. If you were lucky, it means you’re now a kickass guitarist, tennis player or cartoonist. On the flipside, it could just mean you now have a huge Pokemon card collection.
Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean the only thing you can get better at has to be directly related to your job. It’s never too late to get really good at something that could one day become a second career, a side business or maybe just make you look really cool. However, if you want to get good at anything it means you can’t spend every waking hour posting snarky comments on Facebook.
If you’ve always wanted to learn Japanese, throw yourself into it by attending classes, studying on your own at home and connecting with other Japanese speakers in Singapore. It might open up career opportunities later on, or it might not, but in any case it’s a better use of your time than replying to posts on Hardwarezone’s EDMW.
Lots of Singaporeans complain that pragmatic choices made when they were of school-going age have left them with no clue as to where their interests lie. But unless you’re on your deathbed it’s never too late to experiment and discover what you like to do.
Based on the amount of complaining that goes on on the Internet, lots of Singaporeans aren’t happy with their lives. Instead of spending all your after-work time complaining to your parents/your spouse/random people on the Internet, find ways to make your life better.
Not happy with the fact that you have zero energy? Well no wonder, if you spend every waking hour glued to the computer or smartphone. Unfit people are tired all the time, even if they do nothing all day, so commit to getting some exercise every day.
Are you the sort of manager who yells at your subordinates? Did your entire team quit, and do you suspect it’s because of your management style? Then it sounds like you need to learn how to manage your stress properly. Whether you choose to go the spiritual, the sporting or the psychological route, do something about it before your distraught employees start dropping like flies.
Happy people who are trying to be their best selves are the kinds of people employers want to work with, and the sorts of people you would call up if you had job lobang to share. Be that person instead of blaming your circumstances for your failure to try.
How do you spend your time after work? Tell us in the comments!
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