Whether you’re looking for more responsibility, an increase in salary or a shift in industry, the concept of ‘work life balance’ will inevitably be a factor in your job search equation.
Constant advances in technology have made this fine line between work and personal life increasingly blurry as you’re more accessible to colleagues and clients than ever. The ability to tap into work emails at times that were once considered anti-social has led to the concept of work life balance being labelled as somewhat old-school in today’s working world.
So should we be aiming for more of a blend than a balance?
There’s a new school of thought that suggests that the traditional idea of work life balance is dead, and that this once sought after state has grown into a work life ‘blend’. This new term takes into consideration the many ingredients that go into our day-to-day, and the ways in which our personal life has begun to infiltrate our daily working day and vice versa. Being contactable late at night on your email and then popping out of the office earlier than usual to attend a family event has become the norm. This has led to a movement towards trust and measuring outcomes - quite a shift from a time when the hours spent at work appeared to equate to how hard you were working.
Ok, so how do we achieve this blend?
At a recent industry event which focused on this subject, it was clear that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. The art of delegation was certainly one aspect which shone through as a tool to enable us to work smarter and achieve career objectives - in other words to “only do what only YOU can do”. With lots of plates often spinning at once, you need to “make sure you do what you need to do to feel in control”. This might mean ensuring you have fully prepared for a meeting or attending a Pilates class you have been meaning to go to for weeks. But if you have control of your schedule and feel prepared for all eventualities you can make it work for you professionally and personally.
A final note on the topic of work infiltrating your personal life was around the theory of being ‘present’. If there are moments that you’re spending with your friends or family where your mind is already in the realms of the working week ahead, take stock and let them pick you up on this and transport you back into the present. There are times where we feel like we need to be a multi-tasking extraordinaire but there’s no-one more perfect than those closest to you to tell you when you’ve taken the blend too far…