Hello everyone, welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today, I wanted to write about a topic which, to me, has some sort of presence in everyone’s life – especially where we are now as a society. Hustle culture has been becoming much more prevalent over the last few years, particularly though the media, your friends etc. But there’s a harsh reality behind hustle culture which I want to explore today. Let’s jump into it!
- THE BEGINNINGS OF HUSTLE CULTURE
- WHAT’S BEEN A CATALYST FOR IT’S PREVALENCE?
- THE CONSEQUENCES OF HUSTLE CULTURE
- BREAKING DOWN THE TOXIC CYCLE
THE BEGINNINGS OF HUSTLE CULTURE
Hustle Culture has been around for longer than we could’ve thought of, but only recently has it been building back up again, especially amongst Gen Z – and people want to do something about it. Hustle Culture is exactly what it sounds like: always hustling. People who follow this culture pride themselves on living a work-focused life and always being on the grind, without any breaks or rest.
When you initially hear this, I’m sure some people would be impressed. On the surface, these people are working hard, they’re building their futures and dream lives. But, as people have examined this further, things may not be as picture-perfect as they seem.
The key problem with hustle culture is that it’s no longer voluntary, it’s become a necessity for new employees to retain their jobs, and most importantly for survival. There’s been a rapid increase in stress surrounding with finances or a person’s livelihood, simply making hustle culture a must. What started out as an innocent way of promoting some hard work, has turned into a vital habit that inevitably will lead to burnout and other problems.
This was seen back in 2008, when the recession forced tired employees to continue working for a stable life. Now, post-covid there’s another cost of living, and we’re seeing this cycle repeat itself once again. Something has to change.
WHAT’S BEEN A CATALYST FOR IT’S PREVALENCE?
Apart from the economic climate, hustle culture has still been relevant in our society; and social media plays a huge role in that. A major part of social media nowadays is content creation and influencer-culture. As influencers and creators share their daily lives and how they spend their time, there’s a small but consistent sense of incompetency that can build up amongst their followers. There’s even more questioning of one’s self amongst Gen Z, ‘If they’re working, then why aren’t I?’ This content can foster envy rather then support, leading everyone to believe they must work just like their favourite creator.
There’s no harm in showing a daily routine, but the problem arises when people don’t show their breaks or their downtime. If someone only posts themselves doing work, of course they’re going to want it to be romanticised as it’s going on social media, but that choice influences others to think it’s perfectly acceptable to be working until the brink of burnout.
That rest you take in life is just as important in order to reach your goals and achieve your dreams. Of course, social media is only a highlight reel – and nobody can be expected to show every part of their life. It may be that this specific influencer doesn’t take breaks, so they’re only showing exactly what they do. But that’s exactly it: the harsh reality of hustle culture. In order for this lifestyle to be seen as toxic, someone has to start showing the authenticity behind it.
So ask yourself this, if someone with a large platform always posts themselves on the grind, how is that going to look to their followers who may be of a similar age and don’t think they’re doing enough?
THE CONSEQUENCES OF HUSTLE CULTURE
The lifestyle of constantly hustling will inevitably lead to many repercussions. As hustle culture is increasingly promoted: people continuously work to make ends meet, and attempt to live up to the societal standards. Burnout is bound to be on the rise, while employee’s wellbeing simultaneously deteriorates. A study found that new young employees have said that only 7% of them have never felt stress or overwhelmed, compared to 30% for older people.
Despite the increased working levels, hustle culture even negatively effects employers. with a continuation of work at home, and a lack of necessary breaks – employees overall productivity levels are have actually seemed to decline in the workplace because they’re overworking themselves and haven’t given themselves any time to rejuvenate before they next have to work again. So, when they do work again, they’ve lost focus, and are more prone to making mistakes. As they overwork themselves again to attempt to fix them, it just becomes and endless, draining cycle.
Even statistics can prove this, in the UK around half a million people are stressed because of their jobs. The sad part is that now it’s so difficult to find a solution. We can’t pinpoint if it’s wanting to live up to expectations, or they’ve actually overworked themselves or any other cause! And in this crisis, working (in some sectors more than others) is essential, not just personally but also nationally. Raising pressure levels further, especially for young people who know that they are the future and ones who need to find the answers. The Mental Health Foundation found that 60% of young people were unable to cope due to the pressure of succeeding.
BREAKING DOWN THE TOXIC CYCLE
So when it truly comes down to it, how can we promote rest, change societal expectations and help young people cope in the current economic situation?
To me, I’d love to see more encouragement of downtime. I think we are slowly starting to see it, but I’d like to see more creators and even employers just acknowledge that with hard work also comes rest. Giving people that choice really allows them to see the contrast of no rest, and the benefits of it. Allowing them to perform their best – and hopefully discourage the cycle from repeating again in the future.
This could be through providing breaks to employees at work, or an influencer showing how they relax when they’re not doing work. These are known as Break Culture and this lifestyle is definitely a good direction to go in.
Something a lot of people have realised, is that to break the pattern they have to be direct. Not just with the people around them, but also with themselves. What this means is building an understanding with yourself to know when it’s time to stop, and identifying if burnout is there. If it is, then it’s time to be upfront with people around you regarding rest and prioritising yourself.
So guys, those are my thoughts on hustle culture. Of course, the ending was a bit more constructive and solution-based as I try to do in all my posts. If you want to see my sources, then you’ll find them linked in the most relevant part of the post. Thank you so much for reading, if you have any thoughts on this lifestyle, then please do share in the comments!
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