Ah, just the thing every millennial wants to hear about when they are on the job hunt. When I was going through recruiting with the Big 4 back in 2013, I asked every partner, “what does work/life balance mean for you and how does your firm help you achieve that balance?”
Spoiler alert: it’s not just doing yoga at your office as shown in the picture below. 🙂
Most people may think work/life balance just means working less hours (which for some of you that may be your end goal, and that’s great). For me, I think there is a reason we call it work/LIFE balance. We forget to define the whole “life” half of that phrase because we know the “work” part all too well. It may have taken me nearly 2 years of working to figure it out, but working fewer hours doesn’t necessarily mean achieving that balance for me. For me, balance is more of the latter half of that phrase – life. And life is doing something that makes you feel more alive. (Viva forever, y’all!)
Over the past year, making “life” a priority has meant many things for me. The first of those being YoungLife (full disclaimer – it is NOT easy to do ministry with high school kids and work a full-time job, but it’s so freaking worth it) and then some crazy, cool, extra opportunities at work (and it’s ironic but it’s true).
Every Tuesday my alarm goes off extra early and all I want to do is hit snooze for days (at least I’m honest). BUT (and this is a huge but) Tuesdays are by far my most productive workday of the week. Why? Not because I wake up extra early to go into work (trust me, it’s the day I get in the latest to work), but because I wake up extra early to go lead a bible study with my high school girls and drop them off at school…and it’s the best part of my week. While I realize I am incredibly lucky to have a job that allows me to work this into my weekly schedule, I encourage you all to ask if you have something you’re passionate about that you want to fit into your work week! For me, walking alongside my high school girls brings me life and in return, it makes me a better worker.
While the Big 4 is pretty infamous for its insane hours, it comes with some great opportunities (like all big companies most recent college grads are working for). I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a weekend facilitating a conference for local educators at my firm’s leadership facility. I’ve alternated weeks traveling to college campuses to tell students about my firm and why I love working for them. I helped lead the United Way campaign for our office (during my busy season much less). At the end of the day, most of my co-workers thought I was crazy for taking on all these opportunities because of one reason: I was willingly working more hours. And I was! I won’t lie about that. But these are the things I look back on this past year that made me love my job, and the things that made the hardest days worth it.
On that note, what does work/life balance mean for y’all?