✅ Don’t Try to Separate Your ‘Work’ from your ‘Life.’
Well you can try, but it’ll cost you…
Last week I spoke to Kevin, a member of our FREE Facebook group. After a couple of years of false starts and jobs that aren't really what he wants, he's looking for a new job again. One of the first things he told me was that he was working with a career coach. I asked him why did he book a call with me then? (the last thing I want to do is confuse matters)
He explained that he felt he had the “work” side of this life under control - getting help with getting a new job, but that he thought it was worth talking to someone about "normal life".
It stuck me as interesting that he was treating "work" and "life" as two different compartments of his life, but I'll admit I didn't think too much about it at the time until a conversation later that week.
Kevin went on to describe some of his struggles…
> Not the person I was.
> Not sleeping well.
> Drinking too much.
> Feeling stuck.
These aren't topics easily solved by just getting your CV rewritten.
They are tackled by being honest with yourself and your partner about what it takes for you all to be happy and content and knowing your direction.
In fact it can be a bit like building a skyscraper without first checking what sort of foundations you’ll need. First sign of trouble and the whole lot could come crashing down.
It’s about the whole of your life.
The conversation I had was with Jessica Chivers from Talent Keepers.
She told me that women were able to get so much more out of coaching than men because they understood that coaching is about creating the headspace and time to explore the whole of their lives, not just the part of their lives that they spend working.
Coaching is about removing the barriers to your performance, however those barriers are created. The best coaches help you make sense of the entirety of your life and that is so important when you are a Working Dad, pulled in different directions by the range of responsibilities and expectations you are given or put upon yourself.
Think about it
👉 When you speak to your boss, you talk about work...
👉 When you speak to your wife, you talk about the kids…
👉 When you speak to Dave down the pub you talk about sport...
You get the picture. It’s a set of silos.
We don’t make it easy for ourselves do we?
We try and neatly compartmentalise our lives and wonder why trying to do the best in every area causes us stress.
The truth is it’s very difficult to give yourself fully to every part of your life at the same time. You need to focus on what is important to you and your family - sometimes it’ll be putting the time and effort into work - to provide. Other times it’ll be about being there for your young children.
✅ You need to work out your personal priorities and then match those up to your partner’s priorities. It’s about shared priorities…
But you can no more ignore your family life when you thinking about your work than I can ignore the fact I have to walk out the door at 3pm to collect our children from school. > My story
What happens when you ignore your work life balance?
Well to be honest you can ignore it but someone else will pick up the slack.
It'll be your partner and she won't like it. She'll be sitting a dark house, with the kids in bed, reflecting on the career and ambition she gave up while you have a really important networking meeting after work.
"I gave up so much, the least he could do is try to be home. We just don’t see him and I sit in an empty house at night after I’ve put the kids to bed."
This woman later posted "Congrats, Let's catch up" on LinkedIn to mark her husband's work anniversary.
As ‘Toby’ once told me
“If there's one thing I wish we'd done better, it would have been to have those really honest discussions - rather than the more off-hand comments and observations - about the work life balance for both of us, including as a couple and as parents.
But hey - we live and learn, eh?!”
THIS IS HOW YOU START TO MAKE SENSE OF the different parts of your life:
If you want to be happy, content and know your direction, then you need to start by completing the Wheel of Life exercise.
✅ Take each element and decide how satisfied you are now. 10 is very satisfied.
✅ Make a mark on the chart and repeat for each area.
✅ Join the dots.
✅ Imagine it was a wheel. How smooth or rough would the ride be?
** no sign up needed.
Don't leave it too late the get a handle on it, your kids are only young once.