Should You Work Late Even When You Don’t Get Paid Overtime?

mentorsAh, the corporate conundrum. We totally get it. You aren’t eligible for overtime pay but your job has a workload that represents more than a standard 9 to 5 gig.

A reader wrote into The New York Post today with the same dilemma. While you may be tempted to leave at 5 p.m. on the dot every single day, unfortunately that may not necessarily further your career for the long-term.

Gregory Giangrande, human resources executive in the media industry, writes:

“Everyone has the right to make their own priorities and get out of work and life whatever is right for them. So if that’s how you feel about work, that’s absolutely fine. And, for some jobs, it’s not only fine — there is no alternative.”

So, let’s say you’re a host at a restaurant. Once your shift ends, you can officially clock out and walk right out the door. Out of sight, out of mind — you can focus on whatever you want. Plus, it’s not like you have any work to take home with you from the job.

Things significantly change when we start talking about office jobs. You may be able to work from home at night or you may feel the need to put in extra time at your desk before departing for the night since the work has to get done regardless of where or when. Or in this case, how long it takes.

Giangrande emphasizes when it comes to office work, you can’t expect to walk away with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality and “expect anything from your employer other than to get paid for your efforts and to have a workplace that is professional and respectful for as long as they decide to employ you — and, with that attitude, that might not be for a very long time.”