One of the most difficult things to do in business is to juggle your work life with your family life. It’s so funny because these two elements of life are completely intertwined. You work to take care of your family, but your family is the reason you work. Without one, there isn’t a need for the other (of course taking care of yourself is a reason to work, but I’m specifically addressing working professionals with families). Finding the right balance between these two parts of your life can seem impossible at times, especially if you’re in an industry that requires travel and long hours. Additionally, the higher you move in a company, you’re more likely to face these challenges.
Getting Support from Home
When it comes to my own family, I receive a huge amount of support in what I do for a living. I’m incredibly appreciative of this, but I believe I only have this support because I communicate with my family. You absolutely have to communicate your needs as a family unit in order to achieve any kind of peace in balancing that with work. If you don’t communicate, there are bound to be negative feelings that build up over time as the stress begins to weigh on everyone. My family understands my obligations at work, and we’ve created a semi-regular routine, barring times when I have to travel unexpectedly. This works because they know that I am doing everything I can to provide them with the best life possible, so we don’t find ourselves running into problems very often.
Getting Support from Work
Likewise, you need to communicate with your colleagues at work so that they understand your family’s needs. If you’re traveling for weeks at a time and it’s causing a rift at home, you need to express this on the job so that leadership knows what’s going on. If you don’t speak up, everyone will just assume that everything is fine. Also, it’s important to be firm about your needs. My family comes first, and I’m very thankful to work with such a great group of guys who understand this. I think part of what helps in this is that I also consider the six other partners at the Chalak Mitra Group of Companies to be my family, so we can always make accommodations for one another when needed.
Actually Spend Time with Your Family
Another key part of this balance is to actually spend time with your family when you’re not at work. It’s easy to come home after a long day and plop down in front of the TV, but this doesn’t maximize your family time or show that you value your family. They haven’t seen you all day, so make time for them. This seems like common sense, but it’s actually easier said than done. There may be times when you get home and you really just want to be left alone, which is fine to feel. So take 20 minutes to yourself and then play a board game with the family or sit around the dinner table and share one interesting that happened to each member that day. At the end of the day, all you have is your family, so make sure you show them how much you appreciate their love.
I’m not suggesting that it’s easy to juggle a family life and a work life, but if you care about either one, you’ll find a way to make things work. I wish you the best and I look forward to writing again soon.