How do you find the right work/life balance?
A few years ago, I was interviewing some women at the company I worked for that had taken very different career tracks. There was one woman who started at the bottom and climbed to the top, making the difficult choices of whether to finish the important things at work, or to be home with her family. I remember her saying “You’ll always remember the game or the play that you missed. You’ll never remember what it was that kept you at work.” She had spent the last 35 years working really hard to build and maintain her work/life balance, and she scheduled her family time just like she scheduled her work meetings.
I interviewed a different woman who had been at the same company for the same amount of time, and even shared the same first name with the other woman I interviewed. Even with all of those things in common, there was one major difference. Rather than climb the corporate ladder, this woman chose to keep her position in the lower levels of the company’s hierarchy to give her the freedom to have the family life she wanted. She chose what she called “Life/Work Balance”.
I was initially confused when she said “Life Work Balance”, since I had always heard it the other way around. When I mentioned that to her, she got the smile that all wise people get when someone catches their hint and said “exactly”.
If you’re asking the question of how to find the right work/life balance, I think the first thing you have to figure out is whether you want work/life balance or life/work balance. Once you have that figured out, you’ll have half of the map complete, because you’ll know how to prioritize whatever’s in front of you. Nothing is cut and dry, but knowing what’s truly important to you will help you make the right decisions for you, learn to keep doing what worked, and change what doesn’t.
Whatever your path, as long as you stay true to yourself, you’ll find your way.
How to find Work Life Balance
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