Work life balance – It’s a bit of dirty word these days. The new buzz is just LIFE balance, seamlessly integrating all facets of your life to make a single coherent journey. Crucially it’s a journey that all hangs together and in the words of Marie Kondo, ‘sparks joy’.
This is quite a shift in thinking and something that has, to date, eluded us. It’s not something that can change overnight, but there is a generation of Millennials that are no longer prepared to sell their soul for the 80’s corporate dream. They want their lives to have meaning and purpose and they’re not yet entrenched in the mortgages and bills that keep many of us on the hamster wheel. The employment landscape is changing and its time the rest of us caught on.
So, what can you do if you’re struggling?
Buy a diary, use it, stop coasting and start being intentional with your life. Schedule your week. Kids’ activities, meals, the gym, laundry, where you’ll be, what time you’ll get up. Get everything in there and then share it with your family. If everyone knows the plan then life runs more smoothly and if there’s a hiccup someone else can step in and know what needs doing.
If you’re already in a role then speak to your boss, your HR contacts and colleagues. Find out what other people are doing, what’s available and what the company already sponsors. Can you work different hours, early starts, late finishes, compressed days? Can you work from home? Do you need a quiet zone to be more productive? What do you actually want and what can the company do to help you get there?
Most people assume that the way they’re working is how it has to be. Ask for what you want. A forward-thinking employer will be able to offer you choices to help make work, work for you.
What if your employer isn’t helpful?
If flexible working isn’t an option (your employer needs to drag itself into the 21st Century!) then it’s time to think about a change. This is the best part, this is where you get to design the job you want. You don’t have to settle for being stuck in an airless cubicle for 8 hours any more, there are thousands of employers who will enable you to work flexibly.
Look outside the role you currently inhabit; your skills will be transferrable. Think about what you love, about the skills you possess and search for jobs that match those two things together. Your skillset is unique and there is a unique role out there with your name on it. Find that role.
Remember, if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Find your passion and you’ll wake up every morning energised, refreshed and ready to face the day. What are you waiting for?…