I had to deprogram my brain from approaching work this way

But I’m really glad I did — life is better now

Mike Holden
3 min readOct 22, 2023
Photo by kate.sade on Unsplash

Gen X grew up with workaholic Boomer parents. Seeing that, Gen X thinks of work as part of life but not why they live.

— Michael Girdley

As a Gen X, it took me a while to deprogram myself from thinking I owed companies my life.

At some point I realized the workaholic mentality of previous generations was from a time when companies were more loyal to their employees, and when one parent was often home and not working. Those days are gone.

Seeing jobs I’d thrown my life into disappear through restructures and outsourcing caused a gradual shift in my mindset over the years. The slowing down of life during Covid probably helped too, as I spent less time rushing around with my family and more time just being with them.

At some point over the years, I started looking for red flags during the hiring process. For example, I’ve learned that the places that ask you for a bunch of materials at the last minute before an interview are probably best to avoid, as are the ones that want you to put together presentations and sample projects so detailed they should pay…



Mike Holden

Marketing leader with 20 years of experience. Dad of 6. Get ideas in the No Budget Marketing newsletter. https://bio.link/mikeholden