Laurie Ruettimann is the author of the book Betting On You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career. She’s a former human resources leader turned writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. CNN recognized her as one of the top five career advisers in the United States, and her work has been featured on NPR, The New Yorker, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Vox. She frequently delivers keynote speeches at business and management events around the world and hosts the popular podcast, Punk Rock HR, focused on fixing work. She lives with her husband and cats in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Tune in to my conversation with Laurie to find out how you can build upon your interesting on the Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
For many people, being called a slacker feels like an insult, especially on your quality of work and effort. For Laurie, however, the term offers an inspiring alternative, a fresh outlook on the world of work.
“I am a Gen X-er and so we grew up with the word slacker as kind of this pejorative term. You know, it was Bart Simpson, it was Ferris Bueller, it was all of these characters who didn’t care. But, you know, I see slackers as people who do what they need to do and get the job done and then have these amazing outer lives. And one of the things I truly believe is that we fix work by fixing ourselves first.”
Laurie sees our cultural obsession with work—especially starting out in careers. Not only do we throw ourselves into work, but we also pressure others to do the same. She encourages her audience to slack off, not in the sense of skipping out on work entirely, but to feel free from the expectations of overwork. This wholistic approach to life ultimately makes us better humans.
Laurie’s message of health outside of work doesn’t end with how many hours you invest in your job, however. She believes that our personal improvement doesn’t end when the workday does and that the time off from work offers more than just an opportunity to rest. For Laurie, hobbies and outside passions mold us into more engaging people.
“When you’re learning, you’re growing, and when you’re growing, you’re thriving, and a hobby is just an interesting way to learn something new.”
Finding things in your daily life to emotionally invest in is healthy, not just because it provides us with ways to spend our time, but because it challenges who we are. Slacking off doesn’t just mean setting boundaries between work and life, it means finding things to fill that life with, like photography or improv.
Start slacking off today. Pick up a hobby and “build upon your interesting,” by carving out deliberate time to focus on your passions.