The Reality of America’s Corporate Ladder

Chances are you’ve given thought to the next step in your career – whether it’s a promotion you’ve been eyeing up, a long-term plan to become an executive or something else altogether. We live in a society today that is rushing to achieve personally and professionally – but that very motive is driving many of us into the ground. While we’re focused on the next step up the ladder, we’re often ignoring our health.

Think about it – skipping meals or eating at your desk is often regarded as dedication to a career – a positive. Similarly, sleep deprivation is seen as a sign of hard work – coming into the office early, pulling all-nighters to meet deadlines, and leaving the office late. Especially at the beginning of a career, these actions are written off in the name of “paying your dues.” We’re neglecting our health to get to the next highest step on the ladder – and that’s the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

If in the name of demonstrating commitment to a job, you’re skipping meals or living on vending machine snacks, you’re lowering your blood sugar which is likely to hurt your concentration and your mood. If you’re eating meals, but depriving yourself of sleep, research shows this leads to diminishing intellectual activity and emotional balance. Less concentration, moodiness, diminishing intellectual activity and emotional balance – what a combination!

While you’re trying to make a name for yourself with your eyes on the top of America’s corporate ladder, all you’re doing is making yourself tired. In the process, you’re also neglecting a healthy diet and sleep patterns that are required for your optimal mental performance – something that you’ll want to have when you’re making a case for that promotion.

What’s the solution? Resisting the temptation to give in to the illusion – don’t deprive yourself of the necessities, like food and sleep. Instead, be kind to yourself and make sure you get all of the elements necessary to be healthy. In today’s world, it’s much easier said than done, but the returns will be far greater than you could expect.