Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Millennial's Perspective on the Work Life Balance

When I started my higher education career, I was 20 years old. I was younger than many of my students and I lived in the college town. I wanted my students to respect me and to know that I was professional at all times. Therefore, I never wore anything that resembled "student wear" anywhere in town (the grocery store, Wal-Mart, local restaurants, etc.). For a long time, I did not wear tennis shoes or indulge myself by walking around the neighborhood to exercise.

This personal/professional decision worked well for my career, but was devastating to my life outside of work. I felt like I was always on display, because I wanted to represent the university well. As a result, I made a conscious decision to move to a city that was closer to the metropolitan area. This was one of the BEST moves that I have EVER made.

I was happier because I could be ME. If I wanted to go to the grocery store in workout clothes, I could. If I wanted to peruse SAM's or Target, I did. If I wanted to spend my entire day in the Barnes and Noble bookstore without seeing my students, I could.

This was one of the highlights of my student services career. I was more productive because I could leave my university work in my office. When I lived in the college town, I took most of my work home and I made trips back to the office on weekends. When I moved, I made my five trips to the office a week and that was it. In addition, my students loved my commute. When they did something extraordinary, I would stop by SAM's and pick up a cheesecake factory cheesecake, an entire sheet cake, or vegetable/fruit tray and I would bring it to work to reward their efforts. When I made the transition to academia, I would often bring the same treats to the classroom.

Thank goodness for the work/life balance!

I am happier now than I have ever been before. I can seek grant money to write about topics that I am very interested in. I teach millennial college students about the importance of professionalism and about life in general. This is my life's passion.

What is your life's passion?


Even a clock that does not work is right twice a day.
Polish Proverb

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Please contribute a comment (or two) about the post! :)