Does a Work-Life Balance Exist in Tech Sales?
A Day In The Life
8 AM: Internal sales meeting
9 AM: Client meeting prep
10 AM: Client meeting
10:45 AM: Take a call on your way to a client lunch
11 AM: Client lunch
1 PM: Another client meeting
2 PM: Take a call on your way back to the office
2:30 PM: Product launch prep at your desk
3:30 PM: Send follow-up emails
4:30 PM: Recap meeting with your manager
5 PM: Go home and think about work until you go to bed
Sound familiar? It should be if you’re a sales representative working in the tech industry. As you know, hustling can reap great rewards, but how far can you push yourself before eagerness turns into burnout?
Below, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs to watch out for and actionable tips to prevent burnout and find a rewarding work-life balance.
Signs of burnout
If you’re experiencing burnout, you are probably already well aware of the related symptoms, including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight loss/gain
- Panic attacks/nausea on Sunday nights
- Loss of concentration
If you can relate to one or more of these, you may be reevaluating the way you live. You may also wonder if a work/life balance is even achievable in this field and profession. The good news is that, yes, it is possible. But, it will require you to evaluate your current daily habits and make shifts in your diet, surroundings, and mental state.
How to manage (or, ideally, prevent) burnout
1. Start exercising
We often make the excuse that we “don’t have the time” to make our physical health a priority—especially in this field. However, between work demands and ensuring quality time with family and friends, you’re not alone in putting your physical health last on your list of daily things to put your energy towards.
The issue here is that lack of exercise only increases feelings of burnout. Without physical activity, we become irritable, tired, sluggish, bloated, stressed, and downright unhealthy– especially after sitting for the majority of the day (did you know a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases the risk of all forms of mortality– yikes!). Here’s the trick: pencil in a workout, just as you would a client meeting– and don’t back out on yourself! Activities don’t have to be long, either. Most group fitness facilities offer classes from 30 minutes to an hour long. Block out your lunch hour 2-3 times a week for a quick workout, or catch a class on your way home from work
2. Improve your diet
So we just talked about physical activity, but that is only half of this equation. What is your daily diet like? It’s not uncommon for those in this profession to go all day on just their morning coffee and the occasional birthday cake left in the office breakroom. Unfortunately, a poor diet not only makes burnout symptoms worse but, when coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, also puts you at risk of gaining weight. Which, in turn, puts you at even greater risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and a slew of other conditions in the future. Plus, weight gain can be downright frustrating, discouraging, and uncomfortable in the short term.
Along with a regular exercise routine, put a plan in place to develop healthier eating habits. Like everything else, the key here is to work smarter, not harder. Lifehack: keep things easy by signing up for a personalized weight loss program that fits your lifestyle. Coming up with meals to prep and finding the motivation to do so can create additional stress in your life. Subscribing to a weight loss app takes the guesswork out of healthy eating, keeps you motivated, and teaches you about nutrition along the way!
3. Change your surroundings
They say the most creative people have the messiest desks and offices compared to their left-brained colleagues. While creativity is an asset, the state of your surroundings can hugely impact your mood and state of mind (yes, it is possible to be creative and organized).
Take some time to organize your files and tidy up your workspace. While at it, add some fun office decor to make your workspace your own. For example, put up pictures of your spouse, children, or dog, hang up some motivational posters or quotes that inspire you, invest in a standing desk to get your blood following, or even pick up one of those relaxing feng shui mini water fountains.
4. Find a mentor
Research has shown that having a mentor to guide you may create a shift in your behavior. Many mentees have been documented re-engaging in their workplace, increasing their skill set, building meaningful networking relationships, and advancing their careers under the mentorship of a trusted coworker.
If your company doesn’t already have an internal mentorship program, consider reaching out to your human resources department to pitch the idea, as such programs have been known to boost the morale and productivity of all employees– even for the mentor. In addition, the same research has shown that many mentors found their interactions with their junior colleagues therapeutic and helped to force them to reflect on their growth and success throughout their career and tenure with the company.
5. Disconnect as much as possible
This one is easier said than done. Polls consistently show that Americans put in overtime hours– working nights, weekends, and holidays when we should be fully present to the world around us and our loved ones who need our devoted time and attention. Instead, we are constantly glued to our phones and computers, armed and ready for those unexpected client calls and questions. When something goes wrong, we are on the frontline– as we know, that can happen at any time of day.
Learn not to be afraid or feel guilty for putting your electronics away and turning your phone silent on nights, weekends, and holidays. Instead, take this time to connect with your family and friends, read a book, work out, and start watching that Netflix show you’ve heard all about!