NEW: Samantha McDonald
Tuesday, November 27, 2007/
Work/life balance is just that – a balancing act. Don’t let the scales tip too far one way OR the other.
Keep the balance
One of my clients is so obsessed with work/life balance that she is starting to tip a little far over on the balance scales.
She started out as a mega-successful corporate high-flier, who consistently and doggedly attacked the corporate ladder with a vengeance. And then she found herself a nice husband and had a couple of kids.
All of a sudden, her focus shifted and she lost interest in securing the big deals, landing the great positions, and, well, even being at work. Slowly but surely she began to lose everything she had worked so hard to gain – her bonuses disappeared along with the huge clients, her opportunities slimmed out, and she was no longer the person everyone in her organisation looked up to. She was now… a Mum.
Now, for some people, this is a welcome change, and that’s great. But for others who depend on their livelihood in order to get by, this can spell disaster. So, how can you prevent yourself falling off the work/life balance scales?
- Lessen your load but keep your finger on the pulse – If you need to spend more time at home, or you need to keep your evenings free for your family, choose wisely which parts of your job role that you want to retain. Make sure that you still have your finger in the pie at work, and that people know you are still around.
- Don’t use work/life balance as an excuse – If you feel like being lazy or taking time off, do it, but don’t make a habit of it. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of taking too much time off “to spend with the family” to the detriment of your actual work. Let’s face it, if you need money to put food on the table, you need to work. If you don’t enjoy what you do anymore, find a new job.
- Make sure you’re committed to both – When you’re at work, be 100% committed to what you’re doing, and the same goes for when you’re at home. Don’t be wishy-washy with it, because family can start encroaching on work, and work can start interfering with family. If you draw clear lines, you are more likely to be able to fit everything in.
The last thing you need when you have a family is to put your job in jeopardy. It’s great to have work/life balance – just make sure that you also remember that there’s a job in there somewhere!
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