The Importance of Boundaries

Published by MacKenzie on August 11th, 2022

Boundaries at work. Huh?

I shared an interesting point with a client this morning: "kids these days" are getting a bad reputation for having boundaries when it comes to work and their employers.

They're scoffed at for not working past their shift hours, working extra or longer. Even asking for more money. I heard about an article being talked about in which the current generation of young working adults wanted to be paid daily so they had a constant stream of money.

Are these things really that bad?

If you really step back and think about your own boundaries as an employee, how do you rate? Are you bending over backward to help out or working extra without getting paid for it? Are you working late? Are you taking on extra projects or covering for those who aren't doing their share of the work?

The lack of boundaries, and more importantly, sticking to them, creates resentment toward employers. This is part of why we leave jobs. Some of it comes down to the company and a multitude of other things, yes, but some of it is our own lack of boundaries.

I have struggled with this a lot and usually end up kicking myself later when I realize what happened. Looking back on most, if not all of my jobs, I've wanted to go above and beyond so my employer found me to be helpful, knowledgeable and an asset to the company. This would in turn get me good scores on performance evaluations. My worth as an employee was found in those things. But then I'd get pissed off because I was doing more than others, not getting paid for it and my expectations from my employer still weren't different. So I'd leave.

Doing this time and time again showed me that this isn't just a company problem, it's partly my own damn fault. Ugh, that's a harsh reality I had to face.

Now that I've grown a little wiser and own my own business, I've had to change how I do things. It's not okay for me to resent my clients if I'm the one not sticking to my own boundaries. And because i'm the boss I don't really have anyone else to be upset with.

I encourage you to take a look at your boundaries and whether you're sticking to them. This could be applied to any relationship, whether it's business or personal. Are you finding yourself resentful toward others and feel like they're "taking advantage" of your time or energy? Take a look at your boundaries and whether or not you're enforcing them. Are you actually allowing others to take advantage of you?

And as for "kids these days"...maybe we shouldn't dismiss their work ethic quite so quickly. Is it possible that we could actually learn something from them? Hell yeah, we could. Could they learn something from us in return? Absolutely.

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