A Healthy Work-Life Balance or the Best of Both Worlds
Work-Life Balance is a concept that implies there’s a particular balance between your work life and your personal life that can optimize your happiness. Achieving a healthy work-life balance can help you have the best of both worlds.
We’ve all met the so-called “workaholic.” What are some words that come to mind when you hear that word: Busy? Stressed? Overwhelmed?
How about the individual at the opposite end of the spectrum without a job or not happy with their job: Bored? Disengaged? Inactive? Stressed?
Is Your Work-Life Balance Out of Whack?
Regardless of the particular words used, living on either of the spectrum could make many of us feel out of whack. We might be the workaholic wishing we had more time with our friends and family. We could also be the unemployed individual stressing about working in order to feed themselves and their family. Getting/having a job is the first part of the equation, but what about having a life?
I hesitate to suggest finding the “middle ground” between the two, though. I simply suggest finding what works best for you and makes you the happiest.
It’s important to understand what your personal priorities are and how much time and attention should be given to each aspect of your life: career and ambition, health, pleasure, leisure, family, spiritual development, etc. There is a myriad of different aspects to your life, I’m sure, and each of us is different than the next. Take some time to consider what’s most important to you and what deserves your utmost attention.
If family is what’s most important to you, make sure you are setting time aside throughout the week to spend time with them. Personally, we have family night every Wednesday. We make it a point to pick up the kids after work and head out for a night of dinner and sometimes a movie. It’s also a priority of mine to make sure the kids get the attention they need after school to complete their homework and any other school projects.
There are times where I’ve had to cancel other plans or miss out on something fun so that I can attend to those needs. At the end of the day, I’m still happy regardless of missing out on the other plans, because I’m sticking with the priority I’ve determined for myself and believe the outcome will be far greater in the long run than what I missed out on.
A Balancing Act
It’s definitely a daily balancing act. I say the best way to achieve a healthy work-life balance is to be honest with yourself about your needs versus your wants. Make sure you are providing for you and your family’s needs, but don’t forget to splurge now and again to knock a few items off your wish list!
Constantly focusing on needs and viewing the wants as unnecessary can be just as stressful as constantly doing what you want and not attending to some of yours or your family’s needs. I believe that finding a work-life balance that includes all of your highest priorities is the key to keeping you sane and happy.
So go ahead and make a list of your wants and needs and see how you can fit a few from each list into your workweek. I believe the best way to determine the right balance for you is through trial and error, but don’t forget to be patient and understanding if things don’t work out as planned. If it makes you more stressed, then try something else.
Balancing Work and Family is Not Easy, But Worth it
Trying to juggle work and family is what everyone has to do now a days–no matter what your background–in order to pay the bills and get by or live comfortably.
Juggling Work and Kids
Having to get up early, get ready, and get kids ready for school or the babysitter is one thing most parents have to do. Especially when both parents have to work. Being able to get kids to school and yourself on time to work is a chore. Finding the right schedule and keeping your sanity is key to juggling both.
I believe you should always remember to leave work at work and home at home. Just because it was a bad day in the office does not mean it should be at home also. You have to go to work and think with a clear mind even though maybe the kids weren’t ready on time for school and had you running late for work. Or when the car in front of you is going slower then the speed limit. Or if the dogs did not want to go in their kennel. So many things could have gone wrong that morning. Forgetting about it and moving on is key.
Finding the Best Situation
“Of course a woman who decides to work full-time out of the home can be happy and deserves full respect from us. Motherhood is one of the most challenging and creative jobs anyone can do. The goal is to remake the world so that our choices are not so stark.” – Naomi Wolf
To make work (and the world) a better place you have to try your best and make the best of it. Always give it your 100% so that at the end of the day you know you tried your best to make things right. Work with people you like and can get along with–they are the people you spend most of your day with. Do what you like best. This will only make life easier. Not only will you like what you do, but at the end of the day get paid for it.
Love Your Job
I love my job. I get to grow in a company where I matter and can make a difference in people’s lives. Being able to help someone get a job so that they can support their family or themselves is a great feeling.
But Family is Always First
Making sure that your family is taken care of is the most important thing. Changing roles from working and being professional to being loving and caring is not as hard as people make it seem. My kids and husband mean the world to me. They make me feel important and want me to strive for success in anything I set my mind to. Having them in my life makes me work harder for our future.
As a mom I find myself in a slightly over-busy life of a working parent. But I enjoy being in the middle of both worlds and making the best of it.
When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, that’s when you will be successful.
Be there. Be in the moment of your life. Don’t let the little screen get in the way.
How many of you have gone out to eat with friends or family and at some point realized that every single person was on their phone
Between Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so many other apps, do we ever have time to just hang out with people like we used to?
I know this is a big issue now days with all the social media, especially with the younger generation, but I wanted to address this issue in the workplace with adults. Not that it is necessarily an issue here at YES, but something that I feel we can all work on.
We are all adults and most of us do have work to go to. Yes, work can be awful for some people while others really enjoy it. Even if you do have a hard job that you don’t like so much, there are still good things that happen in your day right? I have found that I will sometimes miss a funny moment or miss becoming part of an “inside joke” when my coworkers are talking, all because I just had to check Instagram. When I do this, I am cutting myself off from my coworkers and doing so will eventually put a strain on the relationships at work.
That is no good!
Sometimes I will be interviewing a candidate and their eyes literally never come off their phone. When I ask them to please put their phone away during the interview they either get shy and embarrassed or almost act offended.
When did it become okay to be on your phone when you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone let alone an interview??
This kind of behavior has to stop! We have to learn to be IN the moment again! Not only will it make our lives more fun, but also it is also respectful to give someone your full attention. Surely that’s not too much to ask for right?
My advice is to just be there. Be in the moment of your life. Don’t let the little screen get in the way of the big important REAL things of life. Of course it’s fine and fun to check out social media every once in a while but don’t let it take away from your time at work! If it’s “slow,” start up a good conversation with your neighbor, tell a story, give suggestions, do something, just BE THERE. Don’t sit there in silence staring at your phone screen wishing you were somewhere else!
Life is hard, but there is some good in everyday and it’s up to us to recognize it.
I’m writing a blog on this topic, not because it’s the New Year and I’m trying to keep you all motivated to stick with your resolutions, rather as I realize I’m approaching 16 years with Your Employment Solutions (YES) I’m reflecting on what it took for me to reach this rare milestone.
The above chart show less than 1.4% of the U.S. workforce who started a new job between the ages of 18-24 held their job longer then 15 years. And additionally, based upon the chart, the Average-Joe my age would typically be in about his TENTH job by now! How do you measure-up with the trend?
Some professionals believe that job-hopping is a great way to become well rounded and gain new skills and experiences. Some go as far to say that keeping the same job for long periods of time is a bad thing and according to this blog“…after a while, your learning curve plateaus, your personal growth sputters, and then your passion dissipates.”
My experience with YES contradicts that statement. People really need to consider what their personal definition of “personal growth” and success is. For me, success is remaining gainfully employed, having financial stability (I’ve not missed a week of pay in 16 years!), supporting my family, gaining new skills and experiences, avoiding life’s “ruts” and enjoying my journey through life. Having worked in the same company for 16 years does not mean I’ve had the same “job” and have had no “personal growth” for 16 years. I’m proud to say I’ve experienced a wonderful life and career full of learning new things, experiencing new things and developing new passions.
Here’s my stick-to-itiveness story in a nutshell:
I started working as a temporary employee of YES and demonstrated enough work ethic that they offered me an opportunity to become a recruiter in-house as one of the then three-man operation. I then became a lead by default when we hired a fourth employee. I was trained to be a salesman in order to help the fledgling company grow. I was entrusted to manage one of the businesses largest expenses (Workers Compensation) and, in addition to other duties, became a safety manager. I have assisted in the opening and management of three branches. I have participated in the hiring and new-hire training of nearly all our staff members.
I had the opportunity to buy-out one of the business owners and become a partner in the business. I’ve even traveled to Honduras on two humanitarian trips with Amigos of Honduras which is a foundation started by one of our business owners. What more could I ask for after having dedicated 16 years to one company?
As for the next 16 years, there’s no telling what new skill or experiences I’ll have but one thing’s for sure, it’s up to me to ensure my passion and continued personal growth doesn’t dissipate.
Who would have thought that a 21-year-old kid, starting as an $8/hr temporary employee would someday become one of the owners of the business who collects dividends from the profit of the business he’s help to grow over those 16 years. Had I followed the Average-Joe’s career path of hopping jobs every couple years there’s no telling where I’d be or what my level of success would have been, but what I do know is that my stick-to-itiveness has paid dividends and I couldn’t be happier with my life.
My experience at YES may not lead to the same success and happiness for anyone working 16 years for one company, but it certainly is a beaming example of what’s possible. My advice for people entering the job market is: be reliable; work hard; don’t be afraid to try new things; continue your education; show dedication to employers who return the favor; be honest; don’t wait for your employer to pay you what you think your worth but work so hard that they will realize they can’t afford to lose you.
While “job-hopping” may indeed be your pathway to success, one cannot underestimate the power of “stick-to-itiveness.”
Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Apply this ideal to our lives and we learn that teamwork will make us successful everyday.
Very few people don’t have an opportunity to work as a team on a daily basis. If you are employed you have a team, if you are married you are part of a team, if you have any political opinion at all, there is a team out there for you. A team is when two or more people come together to accomplish a goal. It is my opinion that teamwork can make us better at everything that we do.
Let’s take Your Employment Solutions for example. We are a small staffing agency that is growing with the help of our great staff. If every person that works YES doesn’t understand the importance of teamwork and the role they play, then we could not continue to grow and help more people find work. I am able to succeed at YES because the team of co-workers that I have to support me. The teamwork at YES is what makes it an amazing company.
The most important aspect of teamwork is recognizing that there are other people who are better than you at certain tasks. It will be scary at first, because teamwork forces you to rely and trust other people. Once a team gives into the trust that team will become unstoppable.
Do you know what John F. Kennedy meant when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” He was trying to tell all of us that we are on the same team, that we should be more concerned about what we can do together to make this county great and less concerned about what hand-outs we can get from our government. There is no “I” in team. I promise you will see more success and your life will be a lot less stressful if you learn to work with a team.
Think of teamwork as tandem bicycle, two people are working together towards a goal. Each person is relying on the other to pull their own weight, even when it seems like one person isn’t able to pull their weight, the other should be there to pick up the extra slack. This is teamwork in it most simple form, where physical effort is felt and appreciated by the other team member. There are teamwork situations where the effort of other members might not be so apparent at first. Trust your team, it’s the only way you will all grow and become better people.
In summary I challenge us all to work smarter and not harder. That means work as a team. We have opportunities to work in a team everyday. Lets learn from those experiences and grow.
Understanding the Fine Art of Perception in Work and in Life
In one of my favorite shows – Seinfeld – there is an episode where Kramer gets a job working for Murphy Brown as her personal secretary on her TV show. In that episode she asks him if he is familiar with the software the office uses while he pounds on the typewriter – he obviously replies that he is. The reason I have always liked that one is while Murphy Brown enters the office and Kramer is typing on the word processor he is looking all around the office, eating a bagel and carrying on a conversation while continuing to type on the keyboard at an incredible rate. The perception is he is getting some work done but all his actions from eating to looking all around the office show the opposite.
What is the perception that we give off?
It’s a good question. How do we show up? As a person or company? Are we aware of the impact of the things we do or say? When a potential applicant comes into our office do they see us working, helpful, engaging, or do they see us talking with fellow employees, lethargic, or unhelpful?
Something as simple as eating lunch at your desk can come off to an applicant wrong – why isn’t that person helping me? This is completely unintended but none-the-less there is a poor perception given. We can’t control every thought someone else might have about us, but depending on how we act and treat them will play a huge role on positive experiences.
Positive feedback and positive word of mouth go a long way in recruiting and in attaining new clients especially in a competitive labor market like the current one. Unemployment is so low and jobs are easy to find due to lack of workforce. We will be much more successful in attracting new employees as they hear they have been dealt with in a fun/professional way. Conversely, bad word-of-mouth seems to travel even quicker and with greater devastation.
I truly believe that the way we treat others will be the way they treat us back.
Kramer is one of the best characters that has been on TV and I love to laugh at all the crazy things he has done. I personally think he nailed the acting job he landed on Murphy Brown. He is a great reminder to me that how we act and what we portray gives a perception to others.