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Chronicles of a Graduate: The Problem with Work-Life Balance Is…

This afternoon, my friend and I made our way down into the cafeteria for a much-welcome break.  As we landed at a table within earshot of some of the managers, I caught a few words in a passionate discussion: 

“You see, the problem with work-life balance is…”

And that was it.  A golden nugget of very interesting information, and then it disappeared into thin air.  My mind started puzzling over the end of the sentence.  What is the problem with work-life balance?  Too high of expectations?  Too intense of a workload?  Too little discipline?  What was the insightful answer hanging in the mind of the mystery speaker?

As an hourly employee, I don’t currently have much issue with work-life balance.  I am allotted 40 hours, and in that 40 hours I am to get my work done.  When I hit 40 hours, I’m done—overtime isn’t a regularly allowed option.  So, regardless of where that leaves us, I have to go home and live my life outside of the office.  It’s actually a really nice safeguard for my personal time.

All that being true, I understand that work-life balance is a pretty widespread issue within the workforce.  It leaves a wake of casualties—dates cancelled, children’s soccer games missed, or anniversaries unnoticed. As work shifts from an hourly perspective into a salaried opportunity, the emphasis on the amount of time dedicated to the task seems to wean away.  Instead the focus is “getting it done,” whatever the cost. Work hours get longer, and personal time shrinks.

So how do we actually achieve a balance between our work-life and our personal life?  Do we find it challenging to discipline ourselves to a life in balance?  Or is it actually impossible to achieve a work-life balance?

About the Author

Patty MarraPatty Marra is a freshly graduated alumna of Marquette University, who is working on answering the question, “…what next?”  She is navigating the ever-evolving hiring maze of today’s business environment, and sharing the pieces of knowledge she learns along the way.  She loves social media, but appreciates a good face-to-face conversation.  Long-term, she is looking to establish a career in marketing project management, and help everyone she can along the way.  You can get in touch with her by email, or you can find more of her thoughts via her blogTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this sound familiar? Are you in the same situation?  Have you been here before -- what's your advice for Patty? Please comment below. 

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