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Outside Hours: When Can Your Lifestyle Affect Your Career?

It’s always good to keep some kind of divide between your work and your social life. Maintaining some boundaries is something we all learn early on in some careers. Unfortunately, there are some activities that can cause major problems for you at work even though they are undertaken on your own personal time. Below are just a few ways your actions off the clock can impact your life while at work.

Performance Woes

How you spend your time outside the office can have a huge impact on how you perform during the workday. What you get up to doesn’t even have to be illegal, it just has to be a poor choice. Think about something as simple as staying up all night to go to a party. This can come back and bite you if you have a meeting early the next morning. Natural consequence is something everyone eventually learns about as they grow up, but it is no less important to remember when it comes to the daily grind. Make sure your outside life isn’t going to affect your workday performance before making the choice.

Morality Clauses

Certain jobs are held to higher moral standards, for good or ill. Many teachers, for example, have morality clauses that are strictly enforced by their employers. In some cases, something as simple and seemingly harmless as posting a picture on social media that has a beer bottle in the background can cause an individual to lose a job. Those who work for religious institutions are often also likewise held to very strict standards and some can find themselves unemployed for being seen out on a date or being accused of any kind of minor impropriety. You are responsible for holding yourself to any moral code or clause your employer might have in place.

Criminal Activity

Obviously, criminal activity can play a major role in one’s work life no matter what the field. There are very few jobs that look kindly on employees who commit any kind of criminal act while employed. Many licensed professionals, for example, can lose both their jobs and their licenses if they are caught driving drunk. According to one defense attorney, drunk driving can result in immediate driver’s license suspension in some cases, which could affect your commute to work or loss of job if driving is involved. In other situations, a criminal conviction can cause an individual to lose out on promotions or even further work opportunities.

From natural consequences to legal problems, what you do off the clock can impact your life while you’re at work. If you are in legal trouble, it’s a good idea to take defensive steps to protect your reputation, finances, and record. If your actions are causing problems at work, it’s a good idea to either reexamine those actions or your career. After all, maintaining that balance is important, even if it impacts your employment.

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