Work Life Balance is Dead.

Wait, wait WAIT! Before you bite my head off, hear me out.

I know the title seems to be very definitive, but stick with me. The way we work is changing rapidly. People no longer seek a job for life, but rather, we look for roles that allow us to be parents, to work from home, condensed hours, etc. In the words of the wise philosopher Dolly Parton: Working 9 to 5 what a way to make a living! Or is it? In a past life perhaps, but more and more people are doing over and above their contracted hours. In a perfect world, all would venerate and aspire to the mythical work-life balance, but for most of us, this is not achieved. Or at least, not in the way we think it is. Globally, working life has morphed, and how we think about work also needs to follow suit. We are more connected than any other generation before us, and with that, it means that we can do almost anything, and traditional 9 to 5 patterns needn’t be adhered to.

In his blog 20 Successful Habits I Learnt While Working For Two Billionaires, Paul C. Brunson shares; Lesson #7 – Take no days off(Completely). I’m not quoting this as an instruction that we must work all the hours God sends, certainly not (and some of you are probably doing that anyway). However, there is a principle to be understood about how we separate ‘work’ and ‘life’ and what value we place on each. Please permit me the cliché; life is far too short to be doing something that you just don’t love. And born of that love, the drive that will birth our next success. This is the key because the real myth is believing there is a difference between ‘work and life’. All jobs are becoming lifestyle jobs, meaning, we check out emails from the beach for the love of the game not because we have smartphones. That and we are working towards our first billion!

Within the first 6 months of this year, I had attended 3 funerals. One in her 30’s, one in her 40’s and one in her 50’s. Two to cancer and one to brokenness and poor mental health leading to alcoholism. Within her life, the 50 something year old worked as a model and later went on to enjoy a successful career in manufactioning high-end clothes for a very well-known fashion designer. Our 40 something year old, a very well respected barrister. And our 30 something year old, during her five year battle with cancer, chose to retrain, achieved an MA in fashion, and later started her own personal styling consultancy. In addition to this she also interview and was hired by ITV for a job in presenting. One of the many things these three women have in common is their choice to not settle and do something that made their hearts sing. All three worked all the time, but for them it wasn’t “work” it was sharing knowledge, helping someone out and making a difference. Work life? Life life? Work love? Life love? Love life, love Work!

Takeaways

  • Are you using all of your skills?
  • Do you enjoy what you do?
  • Are you settling?
  • With the introduction of flexible working, don’t be afraid to book some time to have a chat with your HR representative.
  • Have a look at the company policy, could you work from home?
  • Get skilled up. If there is something that you would rather be doing, look for training in that area.
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