Finding Balance in Life
You are the household organizer and cleaner. You are the family chauffeur. You are the food shopper, the menu planner and the cook. You tidy up the kitchen, feed the pets and answer the call, “Mom, where’s my favorite pair of jeans?!`” The juggling act that so many of us confront each day – too many tasks and too little time – has brought about the need for a career that offers flexibility without sacrificing social impact, relationships and opportunities for personal development.
So how do you find that perfect career? Here are a few things to consider:
- What are you passionate about? According to Ron Willingham, founder/CEO of Integrity Systems, Inc. in his book, “When Good isn’t Good Enough,” the energy to achieve is released when you have clear goals that are congruent with your beliefs and values. What do you believe in so strongly that you’re willing to overcome any obstacle and challenge your own limited view of what’s possible?
- Know thyself. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you prefer a structured environment or the freedom to prioritize your own schedule? Which, by the way, can be a blessing or a nightmare if you haven’t learned how to say NO and NEXT – trust me!! Do you need social interaction? How much? Knowing these key attributes about yourself can lead to finding the best match for your work-style.
- Be intentional regarding your support system. I believe we all understand the value of surrounding ourselves with positive people who encourage, support and accept us unconditionally. If we’re lucky, we can count on these people to tell us the truth with a dose of grace, as needed. How many times do we need to be reminded to take care of ourselves first, in order to be well enough to care for others? My advice: Develop good relationships with your neighbors and don’t be afraid to ask for help – what comes around, goes around.
- What kind of flexibility are you after? Allison O’Kelly, founder/CEO of Mom Corps defines flexibility in 3 ways: time (modified hours or work week), place (partial telecommuting, short commute or no required travel), and duration (ongoing employee, contract or seasonal work). If you’re asking an employer for flexibility, O’Kelly recommends waiting until after you’ve proven yourself reliable. You will be in a much better negotiating position.
- What about personal development opportunities? Whether you work for yourself or someone else, I believe it’s important to continue developing new skills and expanding your sense of what’s possible. That means setting periodic goals that both challenge and inspire you to learn something new. Look for ways to coach, mentor and provide leadership to others, and you’ll be richly rewarded for your efforts. What you may find is that teacher gains as much or more than the student.
Finding balance in our daily lives is essential to our longevity and overall well-being. Be intentional about how you spend your time because no matter how hard we try, we cannot manufacture more of it. We’ll simply have to maximize the 24/7 each of us has been given.