Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

Having worked in 6 countries on 3 continents, I have observed that women all over the world have their career life defined in 2 sections (pre-family and post-family).

I climbed the corporate ladder in an international commodity trading company and became an exclusive country representative of the company before I resigned so that I can focus on raising my 3 young daughters. Just as I have observed in my life, most women who decide to start a family are torn between 2 things: wanting to continue to grow in their career and wanting to start and build a strong family.

Unfortunately, in most countries, these 2 desires have been made to seem incompatible. Job demands on a new mother do not decrease; and in most cases increase the higher you go up the corporate ladder; which results an insane amount of hours at work. At the same time, the kids need you (the mother) to be physically present in their lives mostly in their early years.

So, what do most women do? Well, they are left with just 3 choices:

1. try to achieve the ever elusive “work-life balance” while prospering in their career,
2. hire help to take care of the kids as they focus on their career
3. put their career on hold with a view to pick up where they left off after the kids are grown.

Each of these options has its own frustrations, advantages and limitations which we will not analyze in this article whose object is to present the 4th option which addresses all the concerns that career women have:

1. Be tightly involved with the raising of my kids
2. . Work around the schedule of the kids
3. Make money at home (a second income for single income family)
4. Have the intellectual stimulation & adult conversation that young mothers crave for in their free time
5. Have the balanced life with considerable financial means to enjoy the free time that you create as you set your daily schedule.

That fourth option is being involved in creating an online business. My own research and due diligence has led me to believe that the best option is getting involved in internet marketing. While the learning curve in this industry is steep, the payoffs in terms of solving the above dilemma are unequalled:

1. creating considerable financial income – immediate and residual
2. Removing time and space limitations – work from anywhere as long as you have a computer and an internet connection
3. Engage in adult conversations, learn new skills and expand your repertoire of expertise
4. If done right, you leave a legacy (financial and otherwise) because you have the resources to pursue your heart’s desires and make a difference in the things that matter to you.

And a side benefit, you engage in personal development in ways that you couldn’t before. So, do your due diligence and start on your journey to find a balanced life as a career woman and as a mother.

You deserve it!

Eliane Kabwa
Internet Marketer & Marketing Coach

This topic has been all the rage for over a decade now. I think I understand why. Most households are dual income, lots of “latch key” kids, workers and professionals in the US always seem to be among the highest in the world in terms of hours worked per week, etc. Too much work, lots of family issues to contend with, a desire to have what is now an underdeveloped social life. I get it. But is work-life imbalance really driven by the large number of hours we work? Not really. A lack of balance is not simply about too many hours. It is really about the stress associated with those hours. Good news, stress associated with work-life imbalance can be addressed. The effect of the number of hours on you is primarily determined by:

1. Your fit with your current role and or boss and or vocation. I hope most of you who are reading this are in the front third of your careers! You can “fit,” well or poorly, with your current role, boss or vocation. In the ideal situation you are a department head (role) for Suzy (your boss) over a group of staff accountants (accounting is the vocation) and you love everything about it. Unfortunately, some of you do not want to be the department head (or you feel you are stuck there and are unable to move higher), you do not like your boss and you can’t even recall how you convinced yourself accounting was the field for you. My point here is that if you will think about how much of the stress you have is due to poor fit (as opposed to lack of “balance”) you can begin the journey of exploring ways to find better fit.

2. Your willingness and ability to grow. Assuming you have decent fit, you very likely face many other challenging work-related issues. The amount of work, difficult relationships, uncertainty about many outcomes ahead of you, etc. Welcome to the club. How well you practice personal professional improvement 101 says a lot about how much you’ll stress out. This refers to systems of time management, self motivation and goal setting, seeking and using mentors and feedback, finding innumerable forms of training and learning, finding adequate time away from the office, and so on.

Yes, each of these two topics is huge! Having said that – they are your targets. Start thinking, reading and planning to find better fit. Guess what? When you have decent fit, the personal improvement part becomes really easy. You no longer strive for work-life balance when you love your work. Good luck!

Dr. Dewett is a nationally recognized leadership expert, professor, author, professional speaker and consultant specializing in all aspects of organizational life. As quoted in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, CNN, the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC and elsewhere. He is the author of Leadership Redefined. Podcasts, blog, free newsletter and more at Copyright 2009 TVA Inc.

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6 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

The demands on your time seem to never ease up. Were all struggling to make time for ourselves, maintain friendships, and keep the spark in our love lives.

How can you determine what you need to be happier and more productive? Start with these 6 tips to achieve better balance in your life:

Tip One: Search out a flexible employer.

Job flexibility is the number one desired corporate benefit. If your company gives new meaning to the word rigid, you may need to look elsewhere – flexible employers do exist!

Pay attention to articles profiling companies that are particularly family-friendly or rated as the best place to work. These companies are a great place to start your job search.

Tip Two: Ask and you shall receive (maybe).

If you want a more flexible work arrangement, whether its flex time, job sharing, or a shorter workweek, try asking for it – but make sure youve done your homework.

For example, if youre a really productive person, highlight this strength to your manager. Show her youre worthy of this special consideration. Be prepared to give your boss the details of the new arrangement so he knows youve thought it through.

Tip Three: Form a work-life balance committee.

Form a group to survey coworkers to determine their needs. Gently inform your leaders that creating a flexible environment will be a benefit to the company because their employees will be happier, more creative, and loyal.

Tip Four: Schedule me time.

If its important to you to do a thirty-minute workout three times a week, mark it with permanent marker on your calendar.

Therell always be some more important work projects that compete for your time, but you need to realize that your personal commitments are just as valuable.

Tip Five: Realize a temporary lack of balance is acceptable.

Sometimes, you may feel your life is out of balance. Sometimes its worth it, like when you go back to school or take the time to care for a child or parent.

If the benefit is bigger than the drawback, then accept it because you have a new important, temporary priority. In time, you can shift back to a better balance with a new sense of accomplishment.

Tip Six: Recognize the signs of burnout.

When life remains out of balance for an extended period of time, you can suffer from burnout. Are you as tired when you wake up as you were when you went to bed? Do the little pleasures of life fail to satisfy you? Is your productivity waning?

Refresh yourself! It could be something as simple as taking a weekend vacation or as major as changing careers. The first step is recognizing it, so you can put your life back in balance.

Reap the rewards of a balanced life today!

Determine what your personal and professional needs are and decide if your workplace is meeting them. If its not a match, then review the six tips and make the necessary changes. When all the puzzle pieces of life fit together, you will be a better friend, parent, employee and person.

Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP is a conflict resolution consultant and accountability coach who provides bold solutions to boost the bottom line for individuals and teams. She is the author of Take The Ride of Your Life and Full Speed Ahead. Contact Joyce at 800.713.1926 or Resolve conflict and interpersonal issues by looking at video blogs and podcasts at Joyce invites you to visit Joyce’s Bold Solutions Newsletter

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