Dream Job Blog

Letting work-life balance hold you back

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting new people and learning what they love to do. Since they’re considering making a move, there’s usually a gap between where they’re at and what they want.

Recently, I met Diane, who’s leading strategy and operations at a big tech company. Before that, she worked at a top tier consulting firm for 7 years — working crazy hours and traveling all over the world. The transition to tech was amazing. She loves being able to own the end-to-end strategy and see the fruits of her labor. 

The first 3 years were challenging and rewarding. Diane learned a new industry and made a big impact by helping the company achieve its goals. The last 3 years have been lackluster. The company hadn’t focused on innovating its products and growth plateaued. There’s been little opportunity to grow her career. Diane admitted she should have left a few years ago, but didn’t want to lose the flexibility and work-life balance she had there. Sadly, the thought of losing is more powerful than gaining something (also known as loss aversion).

This is by far the biggest reason I hear — for not making a career move. And here’s the truth: you can have the same or better work-life balance at another company that is also more aligned to your career goals. Most of our clients have landed fantastic jobs with the flexibility and work-life balance they wanted. The other ones either intentionally joined a more intense company (like an early stage startup) or they chose a workaholic lifestyle.

Once Diane understood the possibilities, she joined our program and landed a job where she has more autonomy, greater flexibility and work-life balance. She also loves her work, respects the people she works with and feels empowered.

Diane’s misassumption prevented her from making a move sooner. By focusing on what she didn’t want to lose, she blocked herself from seeing the truth. There are a lot of reasons why we may not be achieving our goals, but the biggest obstacle is almost always ourselves. I know this all too well.

Whenever I feel stuck, I ask myself a few questions: 

  • What do I want? Is this something I really want now or is it something that was important to me in the past or important to others? Another way to ask this: is what best serves my authentic self?
  • What’s preventing me from achieving my goal? Understanding my current situation (including constraints) and my new situation (what it looks and feels like after I achieve my goal) is a powerful exercise. It helps create a neural pathway to your ideal state and helps you get excited about it. 
  • What beliefs do I have around this goal? Which ones are true and which ones are false? Can I let go of the false ones? 
  • What feelings do I have? Some of us discount our feelings, giving more weight to our logical minds. When we’re able to connect our minds and hearts and have harmony, we are able to make the best decisions and can accomplish anything! 

Our thoughts are powerful — they fill our minds and eventually become our beliefs. This is the perfect time to take stock of your thoughts, beliefs and feelings and ask yourself which ones are true and let the false ones go.

Are you interested in exploring new possibilities in your career and learning about the current job market? If so, watch our video and book a session with one of our job strategists. We’re excited to talk with you!

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