How Work Affects Personal Life

For most people, their job becomes an integral part of their life, whether it's intentional or not. Many people spend at least eight hours per day on the job, and then wind up bringing the pleasures or stresses of work home with them. The quality of our work life will invariably influence our personal life, and one important ingredient to creating success is finding the right balance between our work and personal life so that we can achieve our career, financial, and personal goals without sacrificing one for the other. Generally speaking, people who love their work don't mind if their work becomes a way of life to which they dedicate themselves. This is often something that co

mes naturally. People who have managed to pinpoint an occupation or job at which they excel and that they enjoy doing are often the people who are dedicated to their careers. They're willing to work hard and enjoy devoting themselves to their ongoing success.

Everyone has a chance to choose his or her own professional destiny. We can choose to accept job offers and career opportunities that we'll enjoy, in which we'll prosper, and that offer future advancement opportunities, or we can choose to accept dead-end, non-challenging jobs, simply to earn a paycheck. Sometime these choices are not easy. Turning against the wishes of a parent, for example, and not following in their professional footsteps can be a source of conflict. However, if making that decision means the difference between getting stuck in a career that isn't personally rewarding and pursuing a career that we love, we must choose to follow our own heart and be happy. What we choose to do with our professional life will play a major role in defining who we are as a person, how we dress, who our friends and professional acquaintances are, and what type of lifestyle we'll be able to lead. The amount of free time we have will most likely be dictated by our job (at least in terms of our vacation schedule and daily work schedule), and it may even influence how we spend our free time.

While it's easy to get caught up in the rat race of a career, learning how to balance our professional life and personal life (and making sure we actually have some form of personal life) will go a long way toward ensuring our long-term happiness and emotional well being. Developing time-management skills, organizational skills, and the ability to leave the stresses associated with work at the office are all useful in developing a healthy balance between our personal and professional life.

Failure to create this balance could transform us into someone who lives for his or her work-and only his or her work. If we're married, in a relationship, have children or other people who are close to us, becoming overly involved in our work can take an incredibly negative toll on those relationships. If we live alone, becoming all consumed in our work will certainly help us move our career forward faster. However, giving up a personal life, even for a while, can be a major sacrifice that could easily prevent us from fulfilling our long-term personal goals.

As we define our professional and financial goals, keep our personal goals in mind. For example, if we accept a job that will move our career forward quickly, but that requires us to travel nine months out of the year, it will be extremely difficult to cultivate a personal relationship. If one of our personal goals is eventually to meet someone and get married, a job that requires a great deal of travel might not be the right choice for us.

Developing a reputation for being highly motivated and career driven can be a positive thing; however, when it comes to planning out our life, we probably don't want our life and our career to be one and the same-at least over the long term. Again, this all has to do with making personal and professional decisions and how we choose to pursue our various goals.

There's a flip-side, however. When was the last time we walked into a retail store, convenience store, doctor's office, or supermarket, for example, and expected to receive friendly service from the person behind the counter, but instead, we wound up being ignored or treated rudely? Chances are, this treatment comes from someone who has made poor career decisions, yet he or she is unwilling or unmotivated to make the necessary changes to improve their professional life.

Dissatisfaction with our work life can have very serious personal consequences. If our time at work is a source of frustration, boredom, or other negative emotions, it can lead to feelings of depression that can impact every other aspect of our life. However, if we recognize that our unhappiness at work is having a negative effect on our personal life, we've already made an important step in turning the situation around.

A positive career path can become a dominating and all-consuming force in our life, where our desire to succeed is so great that we forsake our personal life. Likewise, a negative employment situation can spill over into our personal life and dominate our whole outlook. One key to success is developing a balance between our personal and professional life.

note: originally posted at under the same author.

POSTED BY joeldgreat On 2011-04-21
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