Are you having trouble striking the right work-life balance in the pursuit of a great career? You are not alone!
It’s not easy to balance the competing demands of a great profession and a fulfilling family life. But your long-term success depends on a healthy work-life balance that considers your mental wellness, your ambitions, and the demands of your family and friends.
Success never comes easy. Indeed, the “life” portion of work-life balance was originally a reference to “family life,” and was rooted in the misguided notion that women who worked were unable to adequately care for their families. Yikes.
(At some point in the past, “having it all” for some reason also meant “doing it all.” But as we know—it takes a village to raise a child, dads can cook 👨🍳 , and most people would be lucky to have a hard-working single parent.)
In the modern era, work-life balance means so much more. Not all employees have or want families or children. Striking the right balance can mean finding time for leisure, for side projects, for fitness, or for lying in your bed and starting at the ceiling, if that’s what you want to do.
Even the notion of “work” depends on what job you have, how you go to work, and where you live:
- New Yorkers work an average of 40.3 hours per week
- Londoners work an average of 34.2 hours per week
- Tokyo residents work an average of 42 hours per week
- Singapore residents work a whopping 45 hours per week!
When you think about work-life balance, don’t just think about “childcare needs”, “finding time to vacuum,” or “appeasing your partner.” Aim higher. What do you need to be happy? Chase your dreams:
- Career success
- Physical & mental health
- Personal relationships
- Pleasure, ambitions, and life satisfaction
1 – Evaluate your personal goals and needs
We’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to others. It’s a huge blunder that never leads to personal fulfillment. But sometimes it’s hard to stop. Try this:
- Figure out a plan that works for you.
- Create a list of personal goals that work for you.
- Follow your own heart and intuition!
Unfortunately, many successful professionals feel like they have to sacrifice time with their families in pursuit of their career ambitions. Or that in order to have both a family and a career, they have to give up their health: By eating unhealthy, by avoiding exercise, by coping with stress through drugs or alcohol, or by living life stressed-out and always on-edge.
If you’re starting to feel like work stress is affecting your family, or your home life is holding you back professionally, it’s time to make a change. But here’s the thing: You shouldn’t get rid of your family. Your approach to work is the problem.
This is really important because according to surveys, only 15 percent of us have real self-awareness. Many of us have a lot of work to do!
To ensure that your life choices are compatible with your sense of happiness, work toward acquiring a certain level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. When you know what you truly want, you’ll be able to make a plan for how to get it.
2 – Treat yourself
People chasing corporate careers often live in the world’s biggest cities, like New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. But with endless things to see and do, most spend their time working.
But you need to treat yourself sometimes. Taking the opportunity to decompress and chase new experiences isn’t selfish: It also gives you new ideas, new perspectives, and new topics of conversation. It makes you more dynamic and more responsive to change (and more interesting, too!).
If you don’t live in a metropolis with endless activities at your disposal, you can still think about what’s available locally. Where would local tourists go? Or what do you enjoy doing more than anything else? Whether it’s quality time with your family, watching local sports, going for a walk in the park, or going to the movies—do it!
But what if your job doesn’t let you? Maybe your favorite destinations are only open during your working hours, or the local park isn’t safe after dark. What can be done?
- If you work shifts, see if you can arrange to trade a day-time shift for an evening shift, one per week or once per month. Use your free day for fun!
- If you work in an office, take an extra-long lunch break, or bank up on overtime to take an extra day off.
If those aren’t options for you, and you can’t find a way to make it work, ask yourself this: Which of your co-workers seems to have a good work-life balance. Who practice healthy habits? And then ask them how they do it.
Many high-performing tech companies like HubSpot, Bumble, and LinkedIn do support a balanced lifestyle. They give staff extra time off to mentally recharge. They offer unstructured work weeks. They trust you to do the work, and then they get out of your way. In this structure, you can balance your career around your family life, instead of the other way around.
3 – Stay motivated
Working the same job for years on end can be draining. You might be struggling to find motivation, and your productivity might have fallen.
You’re not alone. Burnout has been a documented problem for decades. According to statistics, 44 percent of youth say the impact of COVID-19 has harmed their motivations. You should try to remember what motivated you in the past:
- Was it the thought of building a better financial future for your family?
- The feeling of pride when you outperform your professional goals?
- Is it comradeship and praise?
For many employees, the thought of spending more time with their families keeps them motivated. Lately, there’s been much discussion around the Great Resignation, when many employees have worked from home and spent more time with their families.
You don’t need to quit your job. But as “back to work” gets into full swing, take some time to reflect on your professional situation. Are you where you want to be? Is your job a hindrance to your home life? And is there anything you can do to make it better?
4 – Perhaps it’s time for a change
It’s important to stay focused on your career goals. But be honest with yourself: Is the career you chose many years ago the right career for you today?
First, you should analyze whether your current company and industry are still the right fit for you. Some industries simply can’t offer a work-life balance. And some companies refuse to change.
You’ll find the best work-life balance at companies that are value-driven and retention-focused, operating in industries that have to compete for employees. These businesses are great employers because they are deliberate about it, and also because they have no other choice.
Best career option?
A career in tech sales is a great pick if you’re looking for work-life balance. Global sales workforces are typically flexible about hours and work locations, provide access to top-tier benefits designed for engineering staff, and are understanding about how life happens.
Uvaro can help you get a headstart in a tech sales career. Start with any of our courses today.
Apply now to start your new career in tech.