appearing to work late

appearing to work late

Posted on Saturday, July 3, 2010

I was thinking about the idea that when people see you "get in early" or work late, it's a good thing because then they will perceive that you are a hard worker.

Here I am, at around midnight, working away even though I've worked all day already. And we're supposed to be on holiday today. I'm not announcing this because I want everyone to think of me as a hard worker. I say it because, in fact: I really am one. I couldn't be anything else if I tried. All my life, this is what I've been. And ironically, this is probably why I don't care if people think or perceive whether I'm a hard worker or not. Deep down, I know I am.

I'm not a morning person. I used to worry about this because people would warn me that coming in late doesn't "look good." But after working in the office for awhile, I noticed that even though I was not the earliest bird, I was definitely the latest owl. Not just because I had a lot to do, but because I took on projects that interested me, and because interest, for me, soon grows to near-obsession, and I find myself mentally "working," all the time. The added pressure of having to appear industrious wasn't conducive to my performance, and I realized this, so eventually, I didn't care, and simply hoped that people realized that I work best a certain way.

I've also been one to value "not caring what others think," and having a strong sense of self-conviction and identity. This, combined with what can pretty accurately be called a workaholic mentality, has paved, and paid, a very unique way through rent, bills, accidents, and life-- ever since I was 18. The dream of financial independence from my dad spurred my desire to work and pay my own way, and this has paid off, forgive the pun, exponentially with a varied work history, a solid work ethic, and best of all, a slow-roasted and baked-in sense of self-assurance with every day that has gone by since.

Now that I work from home, at a startup that I am absolutely passionate about (dailystrength.org), this attitude has completely manifested. I take my breaks so I don't go insane, but I'm happy and satisfied because I feel I am working the way I work best-- and it shows in the work I do. I feel lucky I was able to transition to this job just a few months ago, especially in an economy like this. I can't expect it always to turn out this way, or for this to last forever, but right now, I'm just reveling.

I don't know, I just love to work, and I love to work in a way that's different from everyone else. While this isn't something I strive for in any way, I can't deny that I not only feel drawn to unfamiliar and unusual projects, I act on them, follow through on them, and am constantly modifying my dream of the future to include newer and stranger things.

I'm sure this is a product of my youth, but I don't let that make me hesitate. When else, if not in my youth, can I take advantage of this strange spirit?