Strike a Balance

Strike a Balance

By: Jeannie Chong | Special Projects Assistant
  5116 reads

If you are yoga beginner, you may find some balancing postures really challenging, such as the tree pose.

As for throwing pottery, if your clay is not centered on the wheel when you begin to pull up the piece, it will be off balance.  

And we all know that the key to a healthy balanced diet is eating a wide variety of foods. Even if you have a sweet tooth (like me), you couldn’t simply have desserts and ice cream all the time, right?

So, what are you trying to balance in your life? Is it a work-life balance between your family and professional life? Is it really difficult to juggle the demands of both in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle?

Research shows that some people appear to manage career success as well as a positive social life without difficulty. Let’s take a look!

According to the Harvard Business Review, the CEO of Virgin Airlines, Richard Branson has recommended that the most practical way to deal with work-life balance is by aligning the personal priorities of work, family, health and also well-being. This realignment can not only give you better focus at work, but also the greater emotional and physical energy.

Another suggestion from Frits van Paasschen, the CEO and President of Starwood Hotels cited in the Wall Street Journal, “It’s important not to be so immersed in your work that there isn't anything else. Taking care of your body and your mindset, carving out time to be with your family, doing things that recharge you — these all make you more productive in the end."

We all define work-life balance very differently. A recent gradate may want to put career on their top of the list while an experienced CEO may have other ideas. Have you ever thought about your ways to achieve a balance between your career and personal life?

A survey of 29,000 undergraduate students by Universum’s 2013 IDEAL Canadian Employer Rankings, there are about 6 in 10 choosing work-life balance as their major career goal. Interestingly, they have a list of the preferred employers selected by the Canadian business students.

2013 rankings for business students:

  1. Google
  2. Government of Canada
  3. Apple
  4. KPMG
  5. TD Bank Financial Group

Interestingly, Forbes lists out the top 25 companies for work-life balance and some of the selected ones are:

  • Yahoo!
  • Nokia
  • Bosch
  • MasterCard
  • Chevron

With that, those very best companies for work-life balance recognize that while work is significant in your life, it isn’t everything. Like what the BC’s Top Employers 2013 mentioned, “The challenge for companies today is to balance the family-friendly needs of older workers with the expectations of new graduates for corporate performance on larger social issues.” You may check out one of my blogs, BEST of the BEST, and find out some of the best companies and young professionals in BC.

So, what is your notion of work-life balance? Is working at the best companies your top career priority? Or do you prefer putting more time on family, friends, or volunteer?

My philosophy of life is quite similar to the well-known media giant, Oprah Winfrey, “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”

Set your limits clearly and enjoy a quality of life. You can’t be a workaholic every day! Finding something you are passionate about is essential - live a balanced life!

Interactive Session:

Question: Is work-life balance important to you?

Feel free to leave us some comments on this survey link! We are more than happy to hear your voice!

Lead image: creative-commons licensed photo by woody on Flickr

Jeannie Chong

Jeannie Chong is a Special Projects Assistant with SFU Career Services, and a fourth year student studying communications and publishing. Jeannie volunteers at a radio station, spends time doing crafts and Chinese calligraphy, and loves to indulge her sweet tooth.

Posted on August 02, 2013