No one could claim, with a straight face, that working moms have it easy. But in our eagerness to discuss ways to improve work-life balance for workers with families, we tend to overlook an important, underrepresented group: the single women who often make it possible for their married colleagues to be home by 6 p.m.
“My coworkers with families make a point to get home by dinnertime,” says Simone Allen, a Philadelphia-based litigation attorney, in an interview with Marie Claire magazine. “But if they stay late, their families will still be there. If I have to cancel a date for work, that guy won’t be around the next night. I figured I’d be married by now, but I’m honestly working too hard to find the person I’d want to marry.”
The problem is, all that sacrifice doesn’t necessarily guarantee rewards. Sure, you might wind up first in line for a promotion or a raise — provided that your company has either in the budget for this year. But regardless, you’re likely to find yourself drafted to be the go-to person. And these days, the go-to person “goes to” 24/7.
Beyond the inconvenience, as writer Ayana Bird points out in the Marie Claire article, there’s the fact that it’s illegal to ask one employee to do more than other employees, based on their personal life circumstances.
So what’s an enterprising single person to do?
“If your coworkers are leaving early because of their kids’ soccer games, get your own ‘soccer game’ — like a class that requires you to leave at a certain time every week,” says career consultant Liz Ryan.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you feel that single people lose out on work-life balance? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
More from PayScale
(Photo Credit: sunshinecity/Flickr)