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Searching For The Definition Of A Work-Life Balance

November 6, 2017

The landscape of the professional world is changing drastically. More and more we can see the old way of doing things becoming obviously outdated and being pushed aside to make way for the new normal. The 9-to-5 work day is on its way out. Working from an office is no longer a as important as it once was. These changes will help to shape the modern working world for years to come. And at the center of these changes is the search for the work-life balance. This is a concept that is becoming extremely important for employees, and thus needs to become important for employers. In fact, recent surveys have shown that a large number of employees rank work-life balance higher than income in terms of priorities at work. As boomers age and begin to reach a transitional time in their professional life, that balance becomes more of a priority as well. But despite the major influence a work-life balance has in today’s professional world, defining it isn’t easy.

There inlies the problem with finding a work-life balance. It’s one of those terms that sounds simple and agreeable, but diving deeper into it is difficult, and that’s why some people have trouble with the concept. There’s a notion that employers are resistant to their employees’ search for work-life balance, however, like this article from Inside Higher Ed points out, employers aren’t afraid of it, they are afraid that their workers don’t know what it is. Job candidates are coming to position in search of this balance but only have a vague understanding of what it is. So why is it such a hard thing to define?

Many people misinterpret the term literally, thinking there is an actually equal balance of time to be shared by work and life. But what does that even mean? How do you separate work from life? Is it that the term simply needs to be changed to help clarify things? The truth is that the definition of work-life balance is ever-changing. It is not something that can be pinned down to a measurable thing, nor is it the same for every person. Finding the right definition of work-life balance comes down to you, your work and how it relates to the rest of your life.

What is your definition?

Think about how you want your professional and personal lives to co-exist. You know you need to maintain the professional side in order to live comfortably in the personal side. You know too much time and effort spent on the professional side will make the personal side suffer. So what does that definition look like to you? Try to think of it in the most simple terms possible. For me, the definition comes down to one work; control. I want to feel as though I have control over both aspects. I don’t want one to outweigh the other to the extent that I can’t control. What that control looks like varies quite often and is not necessarily the way it should be for everyone. But you do have your own definition of work-life balance and once you find it, you can work on achieving it– which is our next step.

Join us next week where we continue to explore work-life balance in the modern professional world.

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