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Why I Don’t Want Work-Life Balance

Lifestyle |

I don’t have work friends and life friends, I just have friends. I don’t have designated work time and play time, I just have my 24 hours to manage. I don’t have a work phone and a personal phone, I just have my (precious) iPhone.

I don’t have work-life balance, I have work-life blend—and I couldn’t be happier.

 

The cost of balancing

Our parents’ generation was taught to seek out and pursue jobs that promoted work-life balance with generous vacation packages and where they could leave work at 5:00 P.M. without work in their briefcase. They drew a harsh line in the sand between their professional and personal lives, and were taught to take care to not let one bleed into the other.

The problem with this lifestyle is that if you are waiting for evenings and weekends to live your life and pursue your passions, you are missing out on tens of thousands of hours of living over the course of your lifetime.

Seeking the ‘blend’

I learned very early on in my career that I did not want to have the kind of job that created that harsh separation between work and life. I wanted a job where I did not have to check my passions and interests at the door and pursue them only on evenings and weekends. I wanted a job that allowed me to do what I love and be myself 24/7. I wanted a job where my personality and values were an asset, not something to hide from my colleagues.

Finding this type of work-life balance was certainly no small feat. Personally, I am passionate about women in tech, leadership, and entrepreneurship. So I set out to find community groups that were tackling these issues and offered my support as a volunteer. After months of hard work, I had established a presence in these communities, and eventually the job offers started pouring in.

Making the effort to track down opportunities that align with my passions means that I am excited and inspired by the work that I do. It means that working at night, early in the morning and here and there on weekends doesn’t feel so taxing (and can actually feel quite rewarding). It also means that I have developed strong friendships with the people that I work with, since we are all passionate people who bond over our shared interests.

Beware of burnout

All that being said, this type of lifestyle certainly isn’t all roses—it can quickly lead you down the path to burnout if you don’t make the effort to understand your personal and professional limits, and take care to respect them. Remember that setting limits is a good thing—whether it’s tech-free Sundays, or no email before 9:00 a.m., setting limits will help keep you healthy and energized.

Working on a cause that you believe in can also be challenging from an emotional perspective. When your work is deeply personal, rejection and conflict can sting that much more. While it’s a wonderful thing to bring your passion and personality to work, remember that it is just business at the end of the day.

Choosing to seek work-life blend is a deeply personal choice. It requires you to have a clear understanding about what drives you, your work style, and your boundaries. But if you can swing it, it can be a tremendously rewarding lifestyle.

How do you blend your professional and personal passions?

Ask Amy Cao, Series Creator and Host at FiftyThree and Cooking Channel, how she learned to blend her passions into a career!

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find your passion work life balance

15 Comments

Perfectly said! There is no need to segregate our different "lives." A major plus of being a millennial :)

3y

Great article! Love the idea of work-life blend but how does that function if you have children? Is this more suited for single individual?

3y

Hi Yahaira! As a childless 22-year old (with a live-in partner), I can only speak from my own experience. Personally, I'm not sure if I would be able to continue this way of life with children -- unless I was working in my own business. Part of the reason that I wanted to pursue this lifestyle early is so that I can lay the foundation to lead a modified version of this lifestyle later in life, when I have more responsibilities.

3y

I love the idea of a work-life blend! Still in the process of figuring out how that works in my own life, but it's definitely the ultimate goal. I think it all starts with being intentional about the jobs you take and finding that community of people with the same passion and interests.

3y

Couldn't have said it better -- thanks for the comment Jenna!

3y

This is so great! Nicely written. I love a blended life- personal, work, volunteer, dog, travel, learning, arts, friends, education- it's an eternal curiosity and a love of life. Bravo.

3y

Thanks for the feedback, Bethany! And absolutely yes to the piece about curiosity. There is so much 'amazing' in the world to be explored.

3y

This is the first I have heard of work-life blend and I'm interested to know more! I am especially interested to know what a day or week looks like when approached as work-life blend rather than balance, and also what your employer's expectations are and how that factors into the way you live your life. From reading your article, the only clear example I can take from you is that you found a job that aligns with your personal passions (which sounds truly meaningful, important, and rewarding). Can you give us a more detailed example of your day to make it easier to visualize the concept you advocate? Thank you!

3y

Of course! I've tried typing out a few answers here, but they are terribly long. If you'd like to chat more, or get some more concrete examples, please feel free to shoot me an email -- my contact info is here: http://nicolebelanger.ca/contact-me/

3y

Loved reading this!

3y

Glad you enjoyed it, Bridgett!

3y

I really enjoyed this article, Nicole. A work-life blend certainly isn't for everyone, but it can be incredibly rewarding if undertaken correctly.

3y

I absolutely agree. Thanks for the comments!

3y

Nicole - great article! I couldn't agree with you more!

3y

Thanks, Jenna!

3y
Nicole Belanger

Nicole is an advocate for young women's leadership and an active member of her local startup community. She also runs the Ottawa chapter of Ladies Learning Code, a women-run organization offering beginner-friendly tech workshops (ladieslearningcode.com). Nicole is also proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Volunteer Ottawa. Nicole is passionate about helping young women succeed and achieve their career goals. You can find her blogging at nicolebelanger.ca, and at @nskbelanger.