Advice from the Other Side: Maintaining Work-Life Balance

April 27, 2018

IMG_0838 (1)By Samantha Vigeant, Center for Career Development

As a BU student, you know what it’s like to have to balance classes, work, internships, extracurricular activities, a social life, and so many other things, all while trying to squeeze in some precious hours for sleep. I remember trying to balance competing priorities when I was in undergrad, and I just thought that life would be so much easier when I graduated and only needed to focus on my new job. While you’ll likely gain a lot of extra free time after graduation, it can be easy to overcommit at your first post-college job when you feel like you have lots of extra time to give and want to impress your new colleagues. It’s important to contribute as much as possible to your employer, but it’s equally as important to take care of yourself. Here are some tips for how to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

You’ve heard this time and time again, but communication really is key. It’s important to be upfront with your colleagues and supervisor about what you need to maintain that healthy work-life balance. Do you need to adjust your hours to make it to a family event after work? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by your workload? Communicate those needs with your supervisor. You’ll be happy you did in the long run.

Keeping your body and mind healthy are essential to being productive in the workplace. If you try to push through an illness to be at work, you’ll only keep yourself from getting better. Take time to rest and heal so you can put forth your best effort when you’re at work. The same goes for your mental health. Be sure to set aside time to meditate, attend therapy, exercise, or do anything else that keeps you mentally well. Prioritizing your health is a key step to preserving work-life balance.

Your career is a big part of your life, but it’s not your whole life. While you’re at work, you want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward and giving 100% of your attention to your job. But after work, don’t be afraid to unplug from all your emails and social media and take some “me” time. Dedicate some time each week to do something you enjoy.

With technology at our fingertips, it can be really easy to check up on work all the time. Different careers have different demands, but it’s important to remember that while career is an important part of life, it’s not the only part! Remember to take care of yourself and your needs to maintain a healthy work-life balance.