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When Your Extra Work Causes Problems at Home

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Taking on an extra project at work can benefit your career — but it can also sow conflict at home. If a big assignment comes up that you suspect could cause tension with your partner, try these strategies to balance going the extra mile at work and being a good partner at home.

  • Be proactive, not reactive. Rather than waiting for special requests to sporadically arise, find ways to consistently contribute beyond your job description. This will make it easier to say no when something big comes up that you just can’t take on.
  • Clarify whether extra work is actually required. Before saying yes, find out from your boss whether the organization really needs you on this, whether the task is as urgent as it might seem at first blush, and whether someone else could handle it instead.
  • Communicate! If you feel you just can’t say no to the pressing demands at work, do your best to provide early notice to your partner — and make clear that you’re invested in helping them deal with the potential burden that the additional work might create (e.g., arranging for a babysitter, meal delivery, etc.) If your partner still asks you not to take on the work, it might be time to go back to your boss.

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