“Slow down, you crazy child. You’re so ambitious for a juvenile. But then if you’re so smart, then tell me why are you still so afraid? Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about? You’d better cool it off before you burn it out. You’ve got so much to do and only so many hours in a day.”
Billy Joel, Vienna.
Work-life balance. It’s funny how many millennials and Gen Zers I talk to rank work-life balance as one of the top 3 things they’re looking for in their careers, but yet when asked, they can’t tell me what that means to them. It begs the question, do they really not know or are they too afraid to be honest? Has Corporate America created a culture where we fear expressing what work-life balance means to us because it could be misconstrued as negative work ethic?
I 100% agree that work-life balance should be a priority in your job search and as I mentioned in a previous post there shouldn’t be a universal definition for work-life balance. You need to decide for yourself what makes you feel balanced so you don’t get burned out. There are only so many weeks in a month, days in a week, hours in a day… You can’t do it all so you have to decide for yourself what things you need to have time for.
You might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything new over the past few weeks. That was intentional. It wasn’t because I didn’t have new ideas, but because I needed to keep my balance. I just moved into a new house. I’m still in the process of unboxing and getting settled into my home. Unpacking and cleaning isn’t something I enjoy. It’s another job to me. Due to that, my balance is already being tilted some.
On top of that I have always saved my blog writing for weekends because that helps me keep my work week balanced. Every weekend in June I’ve had weekend-long social commitments. I had a friend’s engagement party, another friend’s out of town wedding, and then went out of town again for Father’s Day.
I’m an introverted extrovert. I like being social (hints my career choice to be a recruiter), but I NEED time to myself. I need time to recharge and that means doing nothing. Not unboxing, not cleaning, not spending time with friends, not visiting family, not writing, not recruiting. Just time at home alone doing something mindless like playing a game on my phone or watching Netflix. That is why I haven’t posted in a bit. I had to re-balance my life and that’s okay.
Your definition of work-life balance is your guide to what you currently need to do and want to do. Two separate categories. The key to maintaining a work-life balance is recognizing that you have other non-traditional jobs like in my case currently being a mover and a maid that belong in the need-to-do category with your “real” job, while the fun things you choose to do because they bring you happiness like hanging with friends or playing video games belong into the want-to-do category. To put it simply, work-life balance isn’t just balancing your “real” job with your personal life.
It’s okay that I had to step away from one of my responsibilities. It wasn’t something I did lightly, but my priorities right now are the job that actually pays me, my family, my friends, getting settled into my new house, and still having time for me. It’s okay for you to do the same, to take a step back from one aspect of your life so you can balance the others.
What’s not okay is not being honest and upfront about what you need to feel balanced. I should have let you, the reader, know that I was going to take a short hiatus from blogging. This post should have been written and posted before my break, and for that I am sorry.
I would encourage you to learn from my mistake. If you’re going to say work-life balance is a priority for you, which it should be, you need to provide those who are impacted by your work-life balance definition with a clear understanding of what that means to you and the expectations that come along with your definition.
Still trying to figure it out,