For millennials, having a job that we love and find fulfilling is more appealing than the amount of money we make. According to a study by the American Sociological Review, 70% of American are struggling to find work-life balance. If we love the work we’re doing, we’ll do it well and money, promotions and new opportunities will come in due time. But work-life balance with a job you love is much harder to achieve if you didn’t enjoy going to your 9-5 every day. According to research group Conference Room, about 52% of American workers are unhappy at work and their studies show that men are slightly happier at work than women. For those that are dissatisfied with their employment it’s not difficult to clock out at 5 o’clock on the dot and turn off email notifications for the night. For others who work at companies that truly engage their employees and create a meaningful work environment, it’s not always that easy.
Common signs that you may love your job include:
· Having friends at work – Interacting with other employees at work means not only do you love working with your peers but you enjoy their company in casual social environments.
· You enjoy collaborating with colleagues – Working with people who understand there’s a bigger picture, are good communicators and collaborators is the perfect recipe for effective group work in the office.
· Time flies by during the day – When you’re busy at work and love what you’re doing the time just flies by. If you find yourself looking up in shock that the day is almost over, you most likely enjoy what you do.
· Going the extra mile is normal - When you love what you do, going above and beyond what is asked or expected of you is the norm. You’re a humble hero at work and that’s because it’s not work at all for you.
· Being out sick bothers you– Do you hop on conference calls sniffling into the phone? Do you insist on staying until 1 pm when you shouldn’t have come in at all? People who enjoy their work feel like something will get messed if they aren’t there and only call it quits when the job is done.
If any of the above apply to you, you most likely love what you do and where you work. Here’s how to find a better work-life balance in your career:
· They take constant inventory of their lives. Figure out what is working and what isn’t. If that means working from home once a week or going to the gym in the morning as opposed to the evening - do it. If you are too busy to cook because you’re always working, try to using a food delivery service to get healthy ingredients sent to your door. These steps are necessary in finding out how to take better care of yourself and spend time with the people who matter.
· Make family time a priority. Finding balance between work and your personal life is hard but not impossible. Don’t look for free time once you’re done working, schedule that time in advance so when the time comes, that’s your focus and not your job.
· Build a strong support system. Whether you have a family or not, it still takes a village. If it weren’t for my mom and boyfriend doing chores and running errands for me, I would miss deadlines. Also, having understanding friends and family helps a lot. When they understand how much you work, it won’t bother them if you need to cancel dinner plans to get some rest.
· Don’t be afraid to unplug. Carving out time to spend with the people who matter most means nothing if you are still distracted. Be present during social time and refrain from checking work related notifications on your phone
· Stop trying to be perfect. Perfection kills work-life balance. If being a perfectionist means staying late in the office to get it “just right” or make those small, last minute changes then give it up. The unnecessary details aren’t worth precious time with family, friends and self-care.
What steps are you taking to achieve work-life balance?