Work Life Balance Post Graduation
I figured it was only right that my first post in a long time would cover this topic, because as of right now I have zero work life balance. After starting my full-time job back in September I’ve slowly allowed work to take over my life which seems to be a trend I’m finding with a lot of recent grads. It’s not common to hear people who work 10+ hours a day, and a 40 hour work week is laughable, which in all honesty can only lead to some serious burnout. I know personally, and I’m sure its a common theme, given the current job market recent grads have to put in these kind of hours because there are 20 other replacements out there who would take their job in a heartbeat. It makes for a tough situation and sadly leads to less time for passion projects, a social life, sleep or staying healthy.
Unfortunately I would love to write one of those great articles with tips on how to achieve work life balance, but I have a tendency to be really bad at finding that balance. So, that being said I’ve decided to make this more of a personal post, with my goals on how to make the rest of this year and even the coming weeks and months a better mix of social life/passion projects while getting my job done as well.
1. Stop being a perfectionist
- My manager actually gave me this advice and being the perfectionist that I am, I was in denial and honestly it took me a few days to really say, “hey lauren, you have a serious issue with making everything perfect”. That being said, I can’t change overnight, but I need to be much more tactical with what I want to accomplish on a daily/weekly basis. Trying to do what I’m doing now will not only be unsustainable but lead to some serious burnout, and I’m already starting to feel it.
2. Don’t be a flake
- One of my other redeeming qualities is I sometimes will just bail on social plans, before it was just out of pure laziness mostly, now I’m just too exhausted. That being said, I need to make a serious effort to stay in touch with the people most important to me, but don’t go nuts and plan a 4 dinners in a week. Given the “flexibility” of my job, I know days that I have less stores to visit so I’ve decided to focus on making social plans on lighter days.
3. Get back to doing what I love
- I’m not saying I don’t love my job, but there are hobbies I have that I love just a little bit more, and I haven’t had the chance to really do them as of late. Whether it’s this blog, working on a side gig, reading, watching tv or playing sports, I honestly haven’t done much of any of them, the watching tv part is honestly the most shocking. I’ve decided it’s important that I set aside some time each day, and at least on the weekend to make sure I write a blog post, go to the gym, play pick up soccer or start reading a good book. Having those little things to look forward to will honestly get that fire inside me going again.
4. Travel plans & vacation
- I have the benefit of 3 weeks of vacation in my current job and I think building excitement around opportunities to travel and see the world is a great motivation each day when I go to work. I have a list a mile long of places I want to see and it just keeps growing. Making a serious effort to go to amazing places around the world will honestly really bring balance to my life. I’ll be going to Las Vegas at the end of April for the first time and I’m so excited, not just for the work break but the chance to go somewhere amazing. I have another week off in August and November and I’ve already been searching for online travel deals and will go anywhere at this point.
5. Learn something new
- There are a few things that I want to really learn within the next few months; start doing online language courses in Italian, develop my Excel skills and brush up on the Adobe Creative suite. I’ve always been the kind of person that loves to learn, but only things I enjoy, the rest of it was out of necessity and I just pushed through (aka half of university). Personal interest online courses are honestly so great, but I haven’t really taken advantage of them much at all.
6. Start networking again
- Let me just warn you ahead of time, you’re going to think I’m the coolest person ever….I love networking. It was something that I did very often in my last year of university and it feels like I have a void in my life right now. I’m a member of 10,000 coffees and have never even used it for it’s purpose yet. I definitely want to make use of it, and if you haven’t signed up already you should
This isn’t a completely exhaustive list, but you get the point. I’m just not feeling my current situation right now because I’ve become a workaholic once again, which I’m sure isn’t shocking to anyone that knows me. You know..the first step is admitting it right? Not sure if any of you reading this feel the same, but definitely take a look at your current lifestyle and fine tune it, balance it out and make some goals for yourself to stay a bit healthier mentally and physically by avoiding work related burnout.