Career advice

Expert advice: how to balance work and family life

It is important that you find the right balance between your family and work life.

Who am I? What do I like to do? And how do I become a better employee or parent? While these questions may sound existential and far-removed from daily life, they are important for your career and your family life.

And not least for your own well-being. Therefore, it is a good idea to continuously consider what you would rather spend your precious time on and what you can contribute with. Otherwise, you risk leaving the matter to others who come to define your everyday life and your priorities, regardless of whether you agree or not.

Ask for flexible working days

Throughout life, priorities change between family, leisure and work life, but the main mission is overall about having just the life you want and dream of.

Because it is important to align expectations in all three areas of life. The three are connected and cannot be viewed separately. If, for example, you are drained of energy when you come home from work and to spend time with your family, then the balance is off.

A possible solution to this is for you to ask your manager for a more flexible work schedule.

According to an IDA study, flexibility and well-being are closely related. IDA's figures show that the greater influence employees have on their working time, the higher their satisfaction with 'work-life-balance'.

The price of change

However, your need for adventures in your career may change over time. For example, the transition from being a family with young children to a teenage family can be a good time for you, as a parent, to consider how much time you want to invest in your work.

Because a career lasts many years, so you don't have to achieve it all in the first ten. All one's dreams do not have to be fulfilled as soon as possible. It is almost impossible anyways because there are so many different factors that come into play.

Typically, the young generations focus a lot on leisure and career, while the family takes up more space for the slightly older. And when people approach retirement age, priorities often change again. Instead of trying to achieve everything at once, try to find out what your priorities are right here and now, and then focus on that.

Become a more balanced person

In general, you can improve your everyday life by trying to raise the level of happiness in your life. According to psychology in the field, five elements are useful for this purpose.

If you lack inspiration, the recipe for a happier life goes like this:

  • Positive emotions
  • Commitment
  • Close relationships
  • Purpose
  • To succeed at something

The first element, positive emotions, means creating moments filled with joy. Being happy can expand attention and boost self-confidence.

This is possible, for example, by surrounding yourself with positive memories such as pictures. Remember to relax and enjoy the moment when you complete a task. Or you can spend money on experiences such as travel, theater trips or dinners that increase your sense of happiness. Therefore, spend time on activities that promote your joy and pride.

Increased commitment can be created by shaking up the routines. For example, perform your work tasks that you often have to do in a new way. Alternatively, you can focus on learning new knowledge and thus achieve greater commitment. This also applies in private life, where you can, for example, strengthen relationships by reading up on the rules for your son's sport.

Basically, it's about challenging yourself without taking on too much.

But most people need more than success at work. Social relationships form a significant part of the path to happiness. Therefore, you should spend time with friends and family you care about. If you want to make new friendships, you might want to think about what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you.

Next, it is also essential to have a meaningful life. Focus on the deeper meaning of your work or leisure life. What does the work you do mean to others?

Succeeding at something is simple. You set some goals that you must then achieve. And don't have goals where you don't enjoy the journey to the goal. It consumes more than it nourishes.

Book a career counselling session

As a graduate and member of IDA, you have the opportunity to have an meeting with a career counsellor. Book an interview with one of our experts.

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