Home > Career Life > The Professional Dilemma: Work-Life Balance

The Professional Dilemma: Work-Life Balance

Work Life Balance Sign Clouds Sky

It’s something we all have to deal with in life; balancing work with the fun stuff in life.  This dilemma really hit me hard recently when I bought a house with my Fiancé.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I was prepared for that, but even being prepared wasn’t enough.  Buying your first house is extremely exciting and is something everyone aspires to do, but then what.  Now you’ve got a nice house, that’s completely empty because you may or may not be able to afford to buy furniture, TV’s, pool tables, decorations, and all the other fun stuff you get to buy for a house (we were fortunate enough to have family who helped us with that, so a big thanks goes out to them).  A few months later I started thinking, “Is this what the American Dream is all about?”  In order to enjoy all the things we love in life, we have to work and we have to work a lot (at least most of us do). Eight hours of your day is a long time when you think about it and weekends just don’t seem to be long enough. With that being said, my next question is…

Do you work to live or live to work?  I’ve heard this question come up quite a bit recently and I wanted to address it from my own personal standpoint.  When I first heard this question, it somewhat confused me.  I really had to think about it to understand it.  To help me better understand, I considered the question, “Why do I work?”  Do I work because I like what I do?  Do I work so I can someday afford a big house and nice cars?  Do I work so I can save up for retirement at a young age?  Then, I considered the question, “Is work getting in the way of the things that make me happy in life?”  Is work getting in the way of spending time with my Fiancé and family?  Am I giving up the opportunity to play golf or go fishing because of work?  Is work preventing me from enjoying my life?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to these questions and I don’t think there is one good answer.  The answer is dependent on your own personal standpoint and everyone has to decide for themselves how much work is too much work.  It all depends on what’s important to you, what makes you happy, because in the end, it’s happiness we’re all after.  Not money.  Not possessions.  Not cool job titles.  Happiness.  Take some time to decide why you work.  Once you’ve identified the reasons why you work, try to figure out if work is actually getting in the way of those things.  If this is the case, you may want to consider other options.  I’ll leave that decision up to you to better balance your work life and personal life.

Image Credit

Related Articles:

Are you living to work? – Jenny Gallagher

Living To Work, Or Working To Live? – Tara Weiss (Forbes Blogs)

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  1. April 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Great article, Eric. This topic is very subjective and boils down to personal values. Eventually your trying decipher what happiness really is and a standard for “success”. I think its a matter or responsibility. If you spend too much time at play you neglect family responsibilities but you are also responsible for your own happiness. I guess its all about balance.

    • April 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      Matt

      You’re absolutely right. That’s why it was so hard for me to suggest one single correct answer. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for yourself, but remember, you have to incorporate balance to a point where you’re comfortable.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Eric

  1. July 10, 2011 at 10:04 AM

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