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The Myth Of Work Life Balance

Every now and then I will be interviewing a young prospective employee, and when I ask what is really important to them, they reply “I want to be really successful, but I also want work  life balance”.

“I don’t want my entire life to be defined by what I do”, they often comment. “It’s important that I spend time with my family…. doing the things outside of work will fulfill me”.

“Mmmm, yes”, I smile. “Work life balance. I’ve heard of that. But boy did you apply for the wrong job”.

Certainly I don’t discount the importance of a life outside of your job.  And there are many professions that offer a balanced existance.  But if I query my friends and business associates that have had really successful careers, the will almost without exception say that the concept of work life balance did not occur to them for at least the first twenty years of their work life.   I’ve been working hard for the last thirty years, and am now just seriously considering the concept.

There are no free rides to success.  There is a direct correlation between how hard you work and how successful you become.  That’s why it is so important to find work you love, as unfortunately successful people tend to spend more time working than with the people they love. A career is often like a savings account.  If you put maximum effort into the crucial first part of your career, you are often lucky enough at the end to actually enjoy some work  life balance.

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3 Responses to The Myth Of Work Life Balance

  1. anonymous says:

    You realize this is in your website under the “Culture” section?:

    At R2C Group, work-life balance is a requirement, not just a lofty goal. We’re passionate about our work and are dedicated to our friends and family. We believe that while the Declaration of Independence guarantees our right to happiness, it’s ultimately up to us to make happiness a reality. We work hard, play hard and enjoy a company culture that embraces both.

  2. Bizzy Life Author Avatar Tim says:

    Ah yes, anonymous responder, I do realize it is in the culture section. And I know that as a company we do attempt to live up to the promise stated. We offer many company-sponsored activities to enhance the work environment. Almost every night I see people heading out for company-sponsored activities that include bowling, soccer, and softball teams. Nobody is tethered to their desks, and the point of my entry was not that everyone abandon the concept of work / life balance, but instead it was aimed the Warriors in the group that want to achieve big success. And I think that whether it is our company, or almost any other, someone would be foolish to assume they can reach the highest levels of success and still have all the time they might want to have to pursue other life goals during the crucial development points in their career. Certainly it does happen, but it is a rarity. There is usually a choice to be made, and I am not advocating choosing one over the other, but simply stating the fact that big success almost always involves sacrifice. There are choices to be made, and in our company, as in most, you have options. But there is an unfortunate price for big succcess.

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