Feeling Guilty about Overtime

The new job is going well I feel. It’s been less than three weeks and already I am immersed in the marketing field (something I swore I had little interest in when I was at Butler University — Go Dawgs!). No offense to my previous jobs, but I feel like I am doing challenging and demanding work for the first time since I left grad school.

With that level of demand and a constantly changing workflow (no day goes as planned in an agency apparently) I have been given/forced to work overtime. The cash is good, in fact, really good, but i can’t help but feel a bit guilty about it. Would I be putting in as many hours if I was salaried? I actually think the answer is yes, and I would probably put in more. There are things I wanted to accomplish this weekend that may have taken an entire day, but if I did that, I would have to bill it. This whole situation is great for my wallet but not for my conscious.

I actually think the reason for my guilt is due to my cognizance of my financial situation. For the past two years (since I started my concierge job) I have been measuring opportunity cost for every minute of my life. This is no different. However, I do have someone that has to sign off on this specific opportunity cost. I can spend 8 hours revamping a report to make it easier to use, but is that the best use of my time or the clients money? Furthermore, I give a shit about my employer. I am grateful that they took a chance on me and because of that, I want the company as a whole to succeed. I don’t want to exploit them for the purpose of building a travel fund or an emergency fund.

I know what you are thinking, “the employer would fire me tomorrow if it was in their best interests, so don’t feel bad and bill them as much as you can.” I get that message and it’s probably advice I have given to others over the years. But, I would gladly work 60 hours a week at this place with no qualms (I am enjoying it that much) but I don’t think my employer should have to dish out thousands of extra dollars each month simply because I love my job.

We will see how this all shakes out. My first week I billed 3.5 hours of OT. This past week was 9 hours. I ate a small portion along the way, something I probably shouldn’t have done, but I don’t feel that I that training and education costs should merely be a oneway street. I was tasked to do a job, and if I can’t do it fully to start, I need to get myself to a place where I can on my own time. It’s like a professional athlete. They are paid for practicing and games, not for off season workouts or extra weightroom hours in-season.

Am I approaching this whole situation from the wrong light?

6 Responses to Feeling Guilty about Overtime
  1. J. Money
    April 1, 2010 | 10:07 am

    I say you keep rockin’ it out, sir. It’s totally win-win :)

  2. Lisa
    April 2, 2010 | 1:22 pm

    Why don’t you be upfront with your employer about your concerns and see how they weigh in?

  3. Revanche
    April 10, 2010 | 8:49 am

    I don’t think it’s mercenary to log the hours they were clearly expecting you to do — and on the job education IS something most employers expect to pay for to some extent.

    I used to worry about that with my previous employer but there were far worse budgetary concerns than my working an extra 20 hours a week. My salary was kind of a drop in the bucket in comparison to the amounts they were wasting but they were getting lots of high-quality work from me.

  4. stiven
    June 8, 2010 | 3:54 am

    Ya i feel guilty of overtime. Because of that i cant keep attention to my family. I am tired when i come from work, so cant play with my 3 year old kid.Plzz god save me from over time. :(

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