“Work-life-blend”: the new and improved “work-life-balance”

By Kim Slaton, Managing Director, JVS Career Services

Everyone talks about working hard to achieve a healthy “Work-Life-Balance.” My question is, is it plausible or has “Work-Life-Balance” become a myth? The term implies that time should be spent separately and somewhat equally on both professional and personal life. However, technology has changed the way we do business. While having 24/7 access to emails, remote files, websites, mobile applications and various modes of communication has made life easier in some ways, it has also blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives. Let’s face it, many of today’s working professionals have schedules that are not conducive to being productive only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Job seekers and career changers routinely ask me for strategies on how to manage schedules to achieve a happy coexistence of work and personal life. I’ve long abandoned advocating separation of both as an answer. Instead, I encourage embracing and creating an environment where work and personal life are blended, not separated. Striving for a “Work-Life-Blend” is not only more realistic, it’s far more achievable. Here are three tips on mastering the “Work-Life-Blend” model:

Give the same amount of attention to organizing and structuring your personal life as you do your professional life.
Accomplishing your personal goals are as important as accomplishing your goals in the office. Dinner plans with colleagues or business connections are scheduled with the same priority as dinner with family members. Just as you would wait to read and answer emails from family members during a business dinner, checking and doing work-related emails can wait until after dinner with family.

Determine technology “down time” guidelines.
We love being connected and plugged in. However, designating time to be unavailable can help you break away from work. Determining your guidelines for unplugging and then sticking to those guidelines is key. Give yourself permission to disconnect during specific times and circumstances. You might decide to leave your phone and/or computer in the locker during your workout. While on vacation, decide when you will be available to check-in with staff or respond to emails. Instead of checking your phone all day long, schedule to check emails once in the morning and once again in the evening.

Time for yourself is top priority.
Thirty minutes a day or an evening a week devoted to a hobby or interest like reading, watching your favorite show, or exercising gives your mind a break and helps to keep work and family stress in check. Whatever activity you choose, make your “me time” something you enjoy and look forward to doing.

Achieving a successful “Work-Life-Blend” model is to discover your individual “blend.” Determine what is important to you in your work life and in your personal life and give what you can to each without compromising the other.


Kim Slaton, CPCC, CPRW – JVS Career Services Managing Director, is a Senior Career Consultant with more than 11 years of experience advising people in transition about how to prepare a successful marketing strategy for today’s competitive job market. As a career catalyst, Kim is known for her consistent successes, adaptability and resourcefulness while staying current with the most important career search trends. This includes helping individuals craft sharp résumés and cover letters, creating effective marketing tools, polishing interviewing skills and enhancing social media and face-to-face networking abilities.

Kim partners with clients from all backgrounds and industries to provide focused and effective methods for navigating various life transitions. This includes college graduates, young professionals, mid-career professionals, executive level clients and retirees seeking encore careers.

Kim is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs® personality assessment tool and holds a BS degree in Human Services with a concentration in counseling from Plattsburgh, SUNY. She is also a graduate of The Nonprofit Leadership Institute of Greater Cincinnati EXCEL year-long leadership development program. In addition, Kim has reviewed and contributed to several college career course textbooks. Prior to joining the JVS Career Services (formerly Cincinnati Career Network), Kim was the Director of Development and Event Planner for Hillel Jewish Student Center of Cincinnati, Senior Fund Development Associate for the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, as well as the Acting Executive Director for the Central Kentucky Jewish Federation in Lexington, Kentucky. Kim’s focus is on building relationships with her clients by getting to know them and learning about what empowers and motivates them to achieve.

To contact Kim Slaton by phone, please call (513) 745-2903, or email her at kslaton@jvscareers.org.

Part of the family: JVS Career Services’ recruiting helps Viking Partners reach new heights

“We try to run the business like a family,” says Bret Caller, CEO of Viking Partners, a Cincinnati commercial real estate company. That “family” has quadrupled in size over the last decade.

It’s quite the human resources feat.

“We don’t have an HR department. You’re looking at her,” says Jennifer Ehrhardt, the company’s CFO.

Caller and Ehrhardt say they couldn’t have successfully expanded without the right partners to help them recruit the right people.

“When we first started the company, there were only four or five of us, and over the last eight years, we’ve grown to 20 people. Since working with JVS Career Services, they have provided significant support with this growth, including successfully recruiting talent for three key positions at Viking Partners this year,” Caller says.

“We have worked with recruiting agencies that didn’t provide as many qualified candidates,” Caller says. “And as soon as we signed on with JVS Career Services, they sent me three or four resumes right away.”

It wasn’t just a quantity upgrade, but a quality upgrade, as well.

“They sent us people who were screened— people they thought were a good fit for our culture and could deliver what we needed,” says Ehrhardt.

She credits JVS Career Service’s successful recruiting to their unique position in the Cincinnati job market.

“JVS Career Services knows who’s living here and they have a pretty good sense of who’s moving here because they’re based here,” Ehrhardt says. “This provides JVS Career Services a real advantage over out-of-town recruiting agencies.”

Both Caller and Ehrhardt were impressed with how fast the hiring process was with JVS Career Services helping. They say without JVS Career Services’ help, it used to take them six to ten weeks to find and hire the right person.

“If we ourselves posted a job on LinkedIn, we’d probably get hundreds of resumes that we’d have to look through and screen. You’re looking at hours and hours of work, and then phone screening and interviews. With JVS Career Services, it only took two weeks and we had our candidate,” says Ehrhardt.

“When I communicate with JVS Career Services about what we need, I know they understand. They understand our culture. They’ve been in our office. They know what will work here,” adds Caller. “They’re fast to make good marriages.”

Caller says he’s been so impressed with JVS Career Services, that he’s come to trust them with referrals too. As a well-connected member of the business community, Caller says he gets frequent calls from people looking for a new job, or to move up in their careers.

“I send those resumes to JVS Career Services. A career consultant usually calls them within 24 hours—and I don’t hear from them again,” Caller says. “These are people looking for high paying jobs in some cases. JVS Career Services is the nucleus of career services. It’s a great referral.”

Ehrhardt is looking forward to next summer, when Viking Partners plan to use JVS Career Services to help them find qualified interns, and create an internship program.

“We don’t have a hard time finding interns, it’s just finding interns who have studied in our area and are interested in real estate, and that’s what they’re going to make sure that we get,” she says.

The service is free to businesses, and Ehrhardt says it’s a great fit for their company because JVS creates an intern community, that they, as a smaller business, can’t provide.

“They coordinate intern outings to Reds games other leadership activities,” she says. “They make it a really enriching experience for interns, which benefits us too.”

Looking at the future of Viking Partners, both Caller and Ehrhardt agree that JVS Career Services has become part of their corporate “family” — invested in helping them take their business to the next level.

“They have become a trusted, valued partner. They are part of our growth plan—whether that’s through interns or a higher-level position,” Caller says. “We’re going to look to JVS Career Services to help fill that role first.”

For more information about JVS Career Services recruiting capabilities, please contact Senior Business Development Manager, Peter Landesman by phone (513) 745-2905, or email plandesman@jvscareers.org.

Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager and Career Coach, comes to JVS Career Services after 40 years as a marketing and marketing communications professional. Peter has worked in a wide variety of industries that include consumer packaged goods, retail, publishing, healthcare, information technology, private aviation, professional services, and employee benefits. He has worked for well-known companies such as World Book Encyclopedia, JCPenney, American Heart Association, NCR, and NetJets.

Peter has passionately pursued and welcomed opportunities to assist individuals with their careers and share connections that lead to the next step in their journey.  In addition to fulfilling a volunteer role with many JVS Career Services clients, Peter co-facilitates the American Marketing Association’s Career Transition Group. Among his other non-profit activities, Peter served on the Governing Board of the WE Lead Athena Program and continues to serve on the Steering Committee of the Greater Cincinnati HR Collaborative.