Two and a half years ago, I graduated from university and embarked on my first full-time job. Although I loved my new company and truly enjoyed the work involved, it took some time for me to adjust to my new schedule while still having a social life!
However, over the years, I have developed a strong work-life balance which has allowed me to maintain my sanity in an event-driven career. I love my job, but I perform even better when I take time for myself outside of the office.
As you prepare for your full-time career after university, keep these tips in mind for achieving a work-life balance that will help you stay grounded.
Make time for your friends
As a young professional, you may be tempted to dive headfirst into a heavy workload. While this is a great way to stand out in your career, you should also make sure to prioritise time outside of the office with your friends. It can be easy to become a total hermit when you leave work for the day, but remember to make lunch or dinner plans with friends from time to time to allow yourself to de-stress. If weeknights are difficult for you, try to meet up with friends on the weekends. Get-togethers can be harder to schedule once everyone is working, but are even more worth your while as you get older.
Enjoy your alone time
Conversely, when you are alone, take that time to reflect and unwind. Whether you prefer to exercise, read a book, paint or meditate, find ways to decompress when you are by yourself. Stop checking your work email and unplug!
Join an organisation as a way to combine your career with your social life! Many industries offer young professionals groups that allow you to network with others in your field and develop yourselves in new ways. Through my university’s alumni association, I constantly meet new people in a professional context, while participating in fun social and community service activities. It’s a great way to have fun and be productive!
Focus on your health
When you become a workaholic, you can be quick to let your health and wellness slide. Don’t let this happen. Instead, make time to plan and prepare nutritious meals, rather than picking up junk food on your way home from work. Find ways to exercise… You’ll need it, after all of the time you’ll spend sitting at a desk each day. Take care of yourself. You only have one body, so make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy, even when your hours are less than ideal.
What are some of your tips for maintaining a strong work-life balance? Share your secrets in the comments section below!
Photo: theilr / Flickr
Valerie Moses is a marketing and PR professional who lives in Orlando, Florida. When she isn’t with friends or attempting a new healthy recipe, she can be found at her lifestyle and college advice blog, So It Must Be True.