Isn’t working as hard as possible the best thing for my career?

Perhaps surprisingly, working excessive hours is rarely a good way of getting ahead. More often than not, it’s as a result of poor time management, which means you’re not working efficiently. If on the other hand you have a manager who is bent on squeezing every last drop out of you (and you’re letting them get away with it), they're probably not the kind of person who's going to have much interest in helping you advance your career. On the contrary, developing your career involves acquiring new skills and making new contacts – both of which require time to stand back from the day-to-day and plan the steps you need to take. Overwork is usually tied to the demands of a specific job, and leaves you with little time or energy for that kind of forward-thinking.

Whether you want to move on with your current employer or move to another organisation or another field completely, it’s hard to make much progress when you’re always exhausted and all you can think about is what you have to do at work the next day.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.