Maintaining work-life balance is not a simple task in today’s working environments. If you feel like your life is just “eat, sleep and work”, then chances are your work-life balance is off kilter. There are specific strategies you can implement to help you decrease the stress of work overload.
- Explore your options with your employer. Perhaps the option for flex hours is available to you. Being able to control the work hours can make you more available to participate in non-work related activities in your life. Another option may be a compressed work week. You could work four 10 hour days instead of five 8 hour days. That will give you one more day off per week to fit in social activities or downtime to help restore balance and de-stress.
- Just say no. Learning to tactfully say no when someone wants you to make a time commitment, whether it is job related or socially, is important. You do not need to feel guilty about making it known you are at your max when it comes to taking on new projects.
- Learn to leave your job at work. Although the technology is in place for most of us to carry on our work day at home, it is important that you leave work at work and concentrate on your home life when you are at home. Keeping a separation and distinction between the two is a very big step in restoring your work-life balance.
- Eat your veggies and get your sleep. One key factor in being able to manage a healthy balance between work and home life is making sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat a proper diet, get enough exercise and make sure you get enough sleep. You can’t expect to perform at your peak levels if you are neglecting your body. Make time every day for physical activities such as walking, yoga or cycling. If you have a friend who will also participate with you that is even better.
- Make a date with yourself. Scheduling in free time to your calendar is a must. In order to be more productive at your job, you need to have a proportionate amount of downtime to just relax, have fun and socialize.
Get help with restoring your work-life balance if you do not seem to be able to get control yourself. Everyone needs a little help now and again. Consulting a life or career coach or a mental health professional will help you turn your chaotic life back into a more fulfilling life where you are able to pause, take a breath and enjoy being you.
Sandra S. Sea is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Singles Career Coaching, LLC. Ms. Sea specializes in personal career and life coaching, motivational speaking, workshops, seminars, and training programs. She is a Certified Professional Coach and is committed to the Singles lifestyle.
She earned her Master of Science degree in Adult and Technical Education, Regent Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Applied Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. Ms. Sea also earned a Certificate in Grant Writing from Garnet Career Center, Charleston, West Virginia. She received her coaching certification through the Professional Woman Network (PWN). Ms. Sea is an international author.
It seems to me that everyone has a natural attraction to certain types of work, jobs, and careers. Even if people do change jobs regularly these days, it is possible to find a common thread through most job progressions if you look for it. What struck me is that perhaps we are all programmed within our cells to want to have a certain type of profession. I discussed this with Sergio, my partner in business, life, and my best sounding board. We started to see the similarities as we brainstormed the traits that we identified. We came up with three main profiles of a working DNA.
The first is the Entrepreneur. The personality traits seem to be pretty obvious. They tend to be risk takers, fast moving, very determined, and visionaries. To an entrepreneur, work is play. They are often service minded individuals who see new opportunities in old problems and are always looking for solutions and ways to make improvements. A true entrepreneur sets up a business and owns a system that doesn’t require his or her physical presence in order to function. They play a critical role in our society because they are creating new jobs and services that improve our lives. Education is really not a concern and a high percentage of entrepreneurs don’t even finish high school or college. Look at Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Assaraf, and Bob Proctor-all of whom have made a huge impact on the world without completing their education. They will often define success as building a business where they have a clear exit strategy, being financially free, and having the ability to serve many. These natural leaders have mastered leveraging time and resources and they enjoy income from dividends, equity, passive income from their investments, and perhaps a self determined salary. They are paid from the efforts of others.
The second profile is the Consultant/Specialist. These people tend to be independent, self motivated, task oriented, and flexible. They are quality minded and have a curious diagnostic approach. They have special skills or talents that they can capitalize on and earn a living. They own their job. They can work on multiple projects and often wear many hats. They love to work independently and have the freedom to determine their schedule. They are project or service oriented and they get paid for the results of the direct efforts. They generally have a foundational education and continue with specialty courses and certifications. They operate their business or consulting from their passion and make enough money to enjoy the lifestyle they desire. They provide important services or functions for companies and individuals that help improve and make things run more smoothly. These can be any sort of consultants, musicians and actors would fall into this category, and we also put Soloprenuers here-people who have a business but it is a one person business. They are dependent on their own efforts to receive their income.
The third profile we came up with was the Corporate Talent/Employee. These people are often more structured, team oriented, and security minded. They enjoy an organization, whether it is small or large, that gives them benefits such as insurance, retirement, vacation, etc. These people enjoy the daily interaction with co-workers, working in a team and being a part of a larger mission. Their educational background is very important and here you will see the highest percentage of Masters and MBA’s within the corporate world. These people are employees, managing other employees, and tend to have only one job at a company (although some may feel forced financially to have second job to make ends meet). They earn a salary or an hourly wage, and are paid for their daily input or contribution. A new trend for employees is telecommuting as companies are becoming more flexible but the vast majority work where their job requires them too. These people are the backbone to our society, providing value and structure, whether it is with a business, a government, a non-profit organization, or a service organization such as a restaurant or hotel. You know when you receive good service from someone who has a passion for their work because they make you feel good being there for that moment. They often define success with achieving a higher salary, promotions, better office, or status.
Our world needs individuals from all three categories and each is important in its own way. I do want to say that it is possible to grow and change into different profiles depending on your life circumstances and your desire to make that change-we are after all, reprogrammable. An Employee can certainly invest in him- or herself, get the training they need to make a change into the Consultant or Entrepreneur profile. Or a Consultant may decide that it’s too lonely and make the change to the corporate world. But I believe that a person will often revert back to their original programming over time if they do not permanently change their innate behaviors and complement their environment to support that change. For example, a corporate executive may decide to start their own company but they need to make sure they have the right team to enhance their chances of success. Without it, they may become discouraged and go back to what they know they can do naturally.
If you recognize yourself in one category and your dream is to be in another category, just be aware that you must change your behaviors and find the right support to make that change successful. It’s great to dream big so don’t let anyone stop you from believing in yourself and your capabilities!
By looking at all the jobs you’ve have had, it’s possible to see the trend and recognize your profile. This is just one step to helping you identify the best working environment and culture for your dream job. Which is your working DNA?
Karin Volo is known as your Dream Job Mentor. She has worked in executive search for over 15 years on two continents and has placed hundreds of people in their dream jobs. She has worked internationally and has a good understanding of cultural differences and understands how important the right job or career is for a person’s well being.