When you enter a career in your younger years, it’s challenging to know what to expect as you’re starting out. However, this vocation will take you through into adulthood. So choosing the right path can help you get a better work/life balance and assist in achieving better lifestyle habits overall.
It’s natural to get attached to your career because it’s a significant part of your life. But, for many people, stress can be a big part of the job, and if you don’t strike a balance, it will begin to affect other areas of your lifestyle.
In the past, people stayed in one job for many years. That doesn’t happen as much now for many reasons. Now, we think more about the work/life balance and how a job fits into everything that goes on around us. However, during a job search, it can be difficult to approach this subject as employers might take this as an indicator that you want to run out the door as soon as the clock strikes 5pm.
In most cases, individuals want to contribute to a team and play their part in making a company a success. But, it needs to come with a mutual balance and respect that life also happens, and work needs to play a part in bringing both elements together.
So, how do you find a job that does all that? It can be tricky to know where to start. But, below, you’ll find tips on how to strike the ideal balance for your lifestyle.
Set your personal work/life goals
Everyone’s idea or concept of work/life balance is different. This is due to the various jobs out there and what you deem important in life. This concept doesn’t just apply to people who have families and lots of commitments. It applies to anyone looking for a good balance between working and living their best life.
This is where goals come into it. It’s not just enough to say I want a better work/life balance – you need to set the ground rules. Think about the hours you want to work. In many cases, when applying for a job, there will be set working hours. However, some employers allow flexible working or a degree of flexibility. So, be open to discussing this.
To ensure you meet this particular goal, write it down. It can be easy to compromise in favor of an employer because it’s a dream job. However, it might not be the dream for long if you’ve given up all your work/life balance goals in the process. Try to stick to what you want to achieve and the working conditions you expect in order to get the best outcome for you.
Showcase your commitment
Employers want to see and feel that a new employer wants to give it the best shot in a new job. However, sometimes asking about hours and conditions can appear a little frosty. Much like, you’re saying, 9-5 is all I’m working on and not a minute more. We all know no job is a straightforward set of hours. Even basic office jobs have commitments after work or early in the morning.
Although this isn’t ideal for many people, showcase you’re not afraid to put in the hard graft. But make it clear (in a tactful way) that it can’t be the norm unless that’s a prerequisite of the job. Many people fall into the habit of working a little later or getting to work early to get work done. However, this can quickly become the norm, and when you start doing ‘normal hours,’ people question where you are or just expect it from you. Nipping this in the bud early on can help get a better work/life balance.
Consider the industry you want to work in
What sector you want to work in plays a big part in how much of your ideal work/life balance you can achieve. Some jobs are seasonal so if you want to enjoy days off in the sunshine, working for a holiday company is probably out of the question. Other careers work shift patterns such as nursing, which could be great for people with commitments they can schedule work around.
Remember, work/life balance is different for everyone. So, someone’s idea of how it should be can be totally different from yours. Plus, different industries naturally have varying needs for a job. So, this can help you make a decision on how well the vocation fits into your work/life balance goals.
Look out for company cues
It can be difficult to tell what type of work/life balance you can achieve before you start working somewhere. You’re never going to the real scope of things until you get started, but there are some cues that can indicate the culture of working hours.
First, be aware of emails you receive after working hours. For example, if your HR contact emails details in the evening – this could indicate that working at this time is expected. Also, don’t be afraid to ask potential co-workers about the work/life balance if you’re able to. You might not get a detailed answer, but there’s an opportunity to pick up on any cues they may show.
Why work/life balance is important for everyone
Work/life balance isn’t just essential for an employee’s wellbeing; it’s important for employers too. For example, when people are stressed and dissatisfied with a job, it will start affecting performance and happiness in the workplace. However, if there is a better balance for both staff and employers, this encourages job satisfaction and improved output.
Ways to get a work/life balance in your job
Once you’ve found your dream job and negotiated the hurdles of finding the best start to your work/life balance, it doesn’t stop there. Getting this equilibrium continues throughout your working life because things change, and we need to get on board with it.
So, check out some tips to manage everything better:
Manage your work time effectively
Time management during working hours is crucial to getting everything completed within your timeframe. But, on the flip side, mismanagement of time starts eating into your life after work, so it’s important to get the right balance.
This can be difficult to achieve if you have a job that requires juggling varying scenarios. For example, nurses have to balance routine appointments and procedures with emergencies, which can happen within a split second. For these individuals, setting boundaries and limits at work can help to get a better work/life balance. However, there’s scope to meet the more demanding needs of the jobs when required.
Take a break
No one can perform all of the time effectively without taking sufficient breaks. This time away from your duties provides a space to recharge before getting back to work. Even if you’re a ‘busy’ person, breaks are essential to perform better at your job.
The same can be said for taking time off. Many people put off taking time away from work for a number of reasons. The more responsibility you have, the more you feel you’re needed to ensure the cogs turn. However, holiday leave is vital for everyone as it gives you space to refresh and come back with a new mindset.
Get better sleep and rest time
After work, it’s natural to want to fit in as much as you can in your free time. However, rest and recuperation is also an important aspect of this. If your job is quite active, then rest is crucial to ensure your body takes time to reenergize.
It can be challenging to switch off after a busy day but switching off digital devices and getting into a good night-time routine will help you.
With many things going on at once, it can easy to fall into a system of overcomplicated scenarios. However, if both your work and life commitments are demanding, taking time to simplify things will bring back the zen.
Use resources that will make life easier. For example, software and management systems give you access to everything you need for the. Plus, you can delegate easily and manage project time better. Also, people are a vital resource in making life simple.
Teamwork is crucial for optimum collaboration. Working together allows you to use everyone’s strengths in sometimes stressful situations. Helping each other and forging strong relationships also brings respect and compromise to challenging workloads.
By using both technology and people in the best way, it helps to manage time better and complete work faster. Plus, it gives you time to plan ahead and manage stress levels.
It’s never been more important to get a better work/life balance, and with some simple steps, it’s possible to achieve. Not everyone has the same concept of what this equilibrium should be. So, it’s important to establish what works for you and what doesn’t. However, taking advice and learning from others also gives you a better idea of what you want to achieve from it.