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 firstname.lastname@example.org.