Legal Blog

On Professional Guilt

As Published in the Daily Record

 

We all have professional guilt. Like “Catholic guilt,” the perpetual feeling of guilt for sinning, professional guilt is the unjustified, perpetual feeling of guilt for not working during all unoccupied times. It is the idea that we are not working when we should be.

I always feel guilty just watching television, for example. The idea that I am wasting time not responding to emails or researching while the television was on causes substantial guilt. I often force myself to stay up and work later after watching a few episodes of something on my DVR.

Sundays are equally terrible. I always feel like I should have spent a few hours on work and rarely do because — wait for it — I have obligations in my personal life – laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, family, friends, etc. – all of which are incredibly important to being an adult human. (I left the order of my to-do list as it came to me because it is incredibly enlightening as to my priorities on Sunday.)

A paralegal co-worker just told me that he feels the same thing. He is always nervous the office needs him when he goes on vacation. (We totally do, but would never tell him.) Vacation is the hardest. How do you find balance between being away and enjoying time off, while not feeling like everything is burning down, and feeling totally guilty for not answering every email? Not to mention that those who are still in the office are working.

It is a terrible conundrum. There is no question that studies show, and most employers agree, that time off it 100 percent necessary. The studies show production is higher, employees are happier and less tired. Nonetheless, we continue to feel guilty. We must stop this vicious cycle.

I challenge everyone this weekend to do nothing for an hour and not feel guilty about it.

A friend posted a quote on Facebook that is the perfect example: “The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one: the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job.”

I do not have children, but this is totally on point.

Happy guilt-free weekend!

 

Do you have any professional guilt stories? I would love to hear them!

Please share them with me at apallozzi@offitkurman.com.

 

 

ABOUT ANGELA PALLOZZI

apallozzi@offitkurman.com | 410.209.6427

Angela Pallozzi works with business owners to create policies that are beneficial to their businesses. She regularly helps her clients with transactions, negotiations, disputes, litigation, and all types of daily business matters. Ms. Pallozzi advises business owners to prevent litigation and, should litigation occur, leads them through every step of the process to reach the best resolution. She works closely with her clients to understand their challenges and resolve them in the most efficient and effective manner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 150 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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