Work-Life Balance or Work-Values Balance?

Do you feel that succeeding at work and in your personal life is getting more difficult? One way to manage this imbalance, within an ever more complex world, could be to seek a stronger connection between the work we do and our value system.\r\n\r\nMost of us spend a large portion of our adult lives doing some type of work: as employees, entrepreneurs or unpaid volunteers; doing household chores; raising children, etc. We have a choice to make: Look for work that aligns well with our values, steer our current livelihood toward an acceptable connection with our values, or switch occupations.\r\n\r\nLet me provide some insights around connecting work with three values of high significance to me:\r\n\r\n1. Work-Service: “There’s food on the table, thanks to the customers I am privileged to serve.” This quote from the Canadian writer and speaker Robin Sharma best summarizes this connection. If service is an important value for you, look for an occupation that allows you to practice it every day.\r\n\r\n2. Work-Family: This connection ranges from jobs where there is no regard for the employee’s family life, to those where there is a close-to-perfect match. Let me share two examples to illustrate these extremes. A close relative of mine indicated to his future manager that he had already committed to attend a family reunion and needed to take a couple of days off within his first two months on the job. His manager reluctantly accepted but added a backhanded remark “to better think twice before making that trip.” Conversely, as I was about to join a new company several years ago, I wanted to start a month later, as I had already planned a family vacation. My new manager asked me if I could start right away, and he would, of course, allow me to take the family trip the following month.\r\n\r\n3. Work-Integrity: Integrity is the foundation of all relationships. Regardless of your occupation, pay attention to the way people you work with behave. Will you be comfortable enough to build a deep professional or personal relationship with them? Check out my previous blog post for more insights on this topic.\r\n\r\nNo matter what your occupation, consider increasing the connection between the work you do and your value system. It will make work a lot more rewarding and consistent with your personal life goals.\r\n\r\nI welcome your reactions.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\

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