Prior to joining one of the big 4, I was always of the opinion that “work life balance” was nothing more than a myth. A fancy term made up by people working in the corporate world – to add a certain air of superiority around them.
Two years into the system, I would say otherwise.
Hours of working in office – reaching home late – having dinner all alone – preparing a report – having sleepless nights and waking again at 6:00 to be on time. That is pretty much the routine. No matter how early you reach your office, you will be always be late for your boss. On the other hand getting back at home at 9:00PM is always late for dinner for your family. It’s a constant grind!
In my opinion, the need for a balance between personal and professional life is paramount. It is important in order to avoid a scenario where relationships, responsibilities and personal life – all take a complete backseat. The corporate world can suck you in – so much so that an escape route is difficult to find, and even worse – you don’t want to look for one.
People are ambitious – they want quick success in less time. For this they are willing to put in that extra effort and those extra hours, but at what cost? A 10-12 hour work day for five or six days a week is bound to create tension and frustration. This ends up taking a toll on the health of the person. The stress invariably gets reflected at home in the form of friction between household members – leading to family splits, divorces and general state of irritability.
But where does one draw the line? What and when is enough? How does one just turn it off? These questions go back to one fundamental thought process – we are afraid of having less if we do less. First and foremost, what one needs to understand is that work life balance is not a choice between career and other things. It does not imply curtailing ambitions. It simply means you can have a career and still cater to other equally important things and people in your life. A proper balance will in itself insure a more fulfilled life.
It all boils down to personal choice – how we take stress and how much of it we take. Make a crazy to-do list, opt for the work from home option once in a while, pick a hobby, take a day off from work spontaneously, take a quick weekend getaways to recharge your system, switch off your cell phones when on holidays – say no once in a while!