“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” – William Drake.
While the above quote seems a little cliché, its point is valid. Throughout my career, I’ve realized it’s not the ultimate goal that is so rewarding, but the actual journey.
As a recruiter, I’ve realized that people tend to choose their ultimate career goal early on in life, what I call the “Professional Mountaintop.”
This Professional Mountaintop is different for each person. For some, it may be to reach the position of General Manager, for others it might be a position as a supervisor, but the goal of reaching that Professional Mountaintop always has a price, and that cost can sometimes be too much.
For decades, professionals have had to make a choice between career and personal fulfillment. Following a career dream has often required relocation, long hours, deadlines and heaps of stress, all elements that overpower other areas of life.
For these driven individuals, everything else in life gets put on a back burner. At this stage of the game, most professionals are overworked and overstressed, and because of this, they are not as involved as they should be in the lives of their family. They have few friends, fewer hobbies and no real life outside of work.
Truth be told, this is a common, but very sad experience for many of America’s modern-day professionals.
The key takeaway here is to not let this happen to you or future employees. This doesn’t have to be the outcome of every successful professional’s life.
The key lies in achieving the right balance between work and life. The problem is that this balance differs for everyone, so it can be difficult to determine where to stop, where to draw the line between work and life.
Here are some of my tips for achieving this balance:
Technology has certainly made life easier, but it has also opened the doors to “constant accessibility.” Customers, associates and work colleagues often have no qualms about calling at any time of the day or night. The work day needs to end somewhere and you need to set these limits. Avoid texting business associates or working at family events. Stay in the moment and make your family time count.
2. Personal Goals
Speaking of family time, the best way to avoid letting one’s personal life fade away into work and the Professional Mountaintop is to create personal life goals to achieve as well. I personally have made one of my goals for 2015 to get out of the office more and spend more time with my family. While some might think this takes away from my work, it actually improves it. I am incentivized to finish my projects and get things done in a timely fashion so that I can spend crucial time with my family later.
It´s important to make time for the important things in life and one of the most crucial things in life is the time to relax and that is best done through meditation.
I’m not saying you need to buy a yoga mat and chant to yourself or anything, just take a few minutes aside from work and your family to collect yourself and prioritize your day.
These are the basic principles I use to maintain that crucial balance between work and life, I encourage you to share some of your own with me. We’ll include the best suggestions in the next edition of Outside the Box.