Calibrating a work-life balance takes place as a series of small decisions. It isn’t a grand strategy you devise in cold contemplation at the beginning of your career and stick to doggedly through the twists and turns of your work life. Instead, it’s a series of answers to mundane questions, which add up over time to determine your relationship with both your career and the outside world.
Should you head home at 5 p.m., or stay an extra hour to finish your paperwork? Should you watch TV with your kids, or log on to check your email? Should you cash in all your vacation days in order to take that dream cruise to the Caribbean, or should you make sure you’re in the office to chase that big promotion?
Because it unfolds in a series of small ways, your work-life balance is constantly in flux. That makes it very easy to get out of whack. Here are three core concepts to keep in mind if you feel your work-life balance shifting the wrong way:
Adjusting Balance Over Time
Work-life balance isn’t a fixed thing. It isn’t like a recipe for cupcakes or the instructions for a chemistry experiment. The mixture changes with circumstances.
When you are young and single, putting in 60-hour weeks causes no discernable trauma. You aren’t letting anyone down and you’re jumpstarting your career. Down the road, when you’re married and have children, that same schedule becomes an issue.
The key is to stay flexible. Give work your primary attention when that choice makes sense. At other times, focus on your family and your outside interests. Re-evaluate as you go and listen to the people around you.
Right Work Life Balance for You
Not only will work-life balance change over time, it varies from person to person. If you’re trying to balance your career with your married life, it matters both what you do for a living and who you are married to.
Some people decide to devote themselves to their careers. Other people suffer through a job as just a way to earn money, a way to enjoy the other aspects of life. Neither view is right or wrong in an objective sense. Figuring out the right balance isn’t a judgment… it’s a negotiation.
However, you have to make sure you’re honest with yourself and the people around you. If you plan on devoting most of your time and effort to your job, make sure your loved ones are on board. Also, if you care about the other people in your life, you might have to compromise your preferences to fit the lifestyle they expect.
Remember Careers Are Marathons
Let’s be honest: Five years from now, you probably won’t remember the project you’re working on today. Every meeting, every assignment, every potential promotion seems vital in the moment. But careers last 40 years.
Think of a career like a marathon. Actually, they are more than marathons. They more closely resemble jogs across the country. You have plenty of time, plenty of road. You can afford to stumble, to take detours, even to stop for a while, all without seriously altering your final career destination.
Settling into a comfortable work-life balance gets easier with the right job. A top-flight staffing firm, like Qualified Staffing, can put you in a position that ideally fits your needs.
Contact Qualified Staffing today to learn more.