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Work/Life Balance

Discussion in 'Business, Lifestyle & Leisure' started by Astroboy, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]How to Balance Your Career
    [​IMG]and Your Family
    [​IMG]So Both are Rewarding and Enjoyable

    [​IMG] by Debra Pestrak
    The biggest challenge many people face is how to balance time with their family, friends, and career. While they want a happy and fulfilling life outside of the office, they know they must make some personal sacrifices in order to achieve their career aspirations. But how do you balance those sacrifices so they don’t greatly interfere with your personal goals? How do you fit roles such as husband, wife, mother, and father into your already hectic schedule? Since time is precious, keeping a balance between the two worlds is often a challenge. Fortunately, with proper planning, balancing work and family is a challenge that can be overcome. Recently, several Fortune 500 corporate executives revealed their balancing strategy. They’re proof that it is possible to have not only a successful career, but also a rewarding and enjoyable personal life as well.
    Set Your Priorities Early
    The first step to achieving balance is to get your family to agree on what the priorities should be. Realize that business success often requires long hours and sometimes travel. In these instances, support from your family has to be there. Additionally, when children are involved, many people discover that they have to re-balance their lives so they have time to spend with the kids.

    Ellen Hancock, Chairman and CEO, Exodus Communication, describes both her personal and professional life as successful, but not necessarily balanced. However, this situation worked for her because she had the buy-in of each family member. As she explains, “There are sacrifices. But your friends and family, your spouse, your parents, all do have to support the situation and have an understanding that yes, this is important and so are friends and family.” Hancock goes on to explain that her schedule did not always allow her to be as available as others, but she managed to do what it took to keep everyone happy.
    Hancock, like many others, made the decision that family was indeed a top priority. As such, they strove for new ways to carve out family time each day. They were aware of the fact that no one ever says at the end of their life, “I wish I had spent more time at work.”
    Jean Hamilton, CEO, Prudential Institutional, used some of her business practices to make time for family. She says, “There are several kinds of sacrifices that I have found to be the hardest. One is that the time I have to spend with my family and friends is not what I would want it to be. That’s why I began to focus on ways to be more efficient with my personal time. In fact, I began applying some of the efficiency tools that I learned from business. I started to get very aggressive about scheduling time with friends and family. It all goes on my calendar. That’s the way I have to deal with things in business, so I did the same outside of the office. Using those kinds of tools helps me minimize the sacrifices.”

    Consider What is Right for You
    When placed in identical situations, no two people will make the same choices. Each person has to evaluate the event and then make a decision based on what is right for him or her at the moment. Just because an outcome worked for one person, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another.

    You have to prioritize your own life and decide what is most important to you. Where do you want to spend your time and energy? How important is your career in the scheme of your life? How do you define success?
    Mary Farrell, Managing Director, Senior Investment Strategist and Member of the Policy Committee for PaineWebber, Inc., made a decision that she would not be available for global travel. That affected her career, and she understood that. She didn’t expect to not be competitive across the board and that it would be overlooked. Many others in her position would not have made such a drastic decision, but Farrell made the best choice based on her values.
    Every day we hear of increasing numbers of people who reach the pinnacle of their careers and decide it’s time for another stage in their lives. They quit their jobs, start a family, change careers, or take an extended leave. Others start businesses out of their home so they can be with their family. What is right for one person is not always right for another. Only you can do what is right for you, your family, and your goals.
    Deciding early in your career what is most important will help guide your career. Some companies are reluctant to support a person’s career advancement if they don’t know the person’s goals—both personal and professional. Therefore, once you know what you want, communicate it to your management and get support. If the company will not support your personal goals as well as your professional ones, then it’s time to evaluate whether this is the right company for you.
    Farrell searched long and hard for a company that would support her career and personal aspirations. She reveals, “I actually worked at several firms before I landed at a firm that was open to the kind of flexibility I needed. That was not an accident. That was part of my career goals and I was very fortunate because I worked for someone who was very bottom-line oriented. As long as the work was done, my boss didn’t care if I went to the school play, and I managed to make it to a lot of them. It took a lot out of me to make up work at the end of the day, but of course, it was very important to me to be able to do that. You can’t always, but when you set your priorities and look at the big picture, it’s a lot easier to fit it all in place.”
    Balance Points to Consider
    Before you make any drastic changes to your personal or professional life, consider the implications of each decision and how you plan to integrate the decision into your current schedule. For example, what effect will having children have on your life? Also, think about how much time you would want to take off when you have a child. Do you want to come back to work full time? What support system exists that can help you? Will you need to leave work at 5:00? If so, will that allow you to get the work done? If not, are you willing to take it home and do it there? Can you? How much control do you have over your workload? Do you have access to technology at home?

    Different jobs have different requirements. Farrell found that by moving to research she was better able to achieve her goals. What about your current position? Study your field to see if it meets your future goals and aspirations. If not, it may be time to consider a change. However, whatever you do, be realistic about what career choices you make based on your values and priorities.
    What’s Your Balancing Decision
    We all make sacrifices to get what we want. Most of the top executives do not sleep eight hours. They have either decided that getting the work done is more important or they don’t need that much sleep. Many of them work on weekends or at least attend to their in-basket, emails, or voicemails then. This is a choice they make in order to have what they want. You may not want to make it to the very top, but think about where you want to go and what it will take to get there. What choices and sacrifices do you need to make today to achieve your goals tomorrow?


    How to Balance Your Career and Your Family
     
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  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Ten-Tips-for-Dealing-with-Difficult-Coworkers: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

    provided by[​IMG]

    Is there someone in your workplace -- a domineering manager, a difficult coworker, or maybe even a demanding client or customer -- who drives you crazy? Are there people at your job who make you feel inadequate, unworthy, or just plain miserable?
    Difficult people exist at work as in all facets of life, and they come in every variety. Dealing with these types is easier when the person is just generally obnoxious or when their behavior affects more than one person. But it is much tougher when they personally attack you or undermine your professional standing.

    While you probably can't change such a person, the good news is that by following these 10 tips for dealing with problem people in the workplace, you can avoid being their victim:


    1. Identify problem people. Learn to recognize when a coworker is "toxic." Difficult people come in all shapes and sizes: Some talk constantly and never listen. Others must always have the last word. Some coworkers fail to keep commitments. Others criticize anything that they did not create themselves. A toxic coworker can take the form of a cut-you-downer, a two-faced backstabber, a gossip, a meddler, an instigator, or a nasty competitor.
    2. Beware bad bosses. Bosses are in charge, whether you like it or not. If your intention is to keep your job, you will have to learn how to get along with an arrogant or controlling boss. If you need to confront your boss, avoid putting him or her on the defensive. This is the most risky situation with which to deal.
    3. Assess your situation. Initially, you might be shocked that you are being treated unprofessionally. Take a deep breath, and try to understand exactly what is happening to you. Realize that you are not alone.
    4. Take concrete action. Once you are fully aware of what is happening, deciding to live with the situation long-term is rarely an option. Your situation won't improve unless you do something about it. In fact, left unaddressed, it usually gets worse. Let the coworker in question know that you are on to his or her game and that you will escalate it to a higher authority if necessary.
    5. Don't let the problem fester. Make sure to take action swiftly. You may eventually become so angry that your efforts to address the situation could become irrational. It's far better to tackle the problem while you can maintain some objectivity and emotional control.
    6. Safeguard your reputation. Constant complaining about the situation can quickly earn you the title of "office whiner." Managers might wonder why you're unable to solve your own problems, even if their tolerance of the situation is part of the problem. If you are embroiled in a constant conflict at work, you may end up getting blamed for other problems.
    7. Don't sink to their level. As problematic as the person may be, there are many dysfunctional approaches to dealing with them in which you do not want to engage. Some no-no's: sending anonymous notes, gossiping about the person, bad-mouthing him or her to the boss.
    8. Keep it private. Be sure to keep all of your dealings with the person private. Never lose your temper at work or engage in a confrontation in front of your boss or colleagues.
    9. Make the first move. If you approach a difficult person with the belief that he or she is as eager as you are to restore harmony, you can make the first move. Start your conversation with Start your conversation with statements such as "I'm sorry for what I may have done to hurt you" or "I could be wrong."
    10. Agree to disagree. If you personally dislike a coworker or boss, you can still learn from their opinions, viewpoints, and ideas. If you can find something to appreciate about them, comment on it in a favorable way. If that person senses your allegiance, they will be naturally drawn to you, and you may both learn to get along despite your differences.
     
  4. Huck_Finn

    Huck_Finn
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    keep friday for urself

    my single point motto :)
     
  5. KulwantK

    KulwantK
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    One thing I learned to do is to not take it, whatever it may be, too personally.
    Also, you could look at it this way: by and large, people operate from one or the other (sometimes, a mixture of both!) frame of references:
    1) a frame of reference of compassion
    2) a frame of reference of fear
    Most people operate from a frame of reference of fear. A dear friend who introduced me to Sikhism suggested that if we can do our best to operate from a frame of reference of compassion as much of the time as possible, it will do a lot to alleviate many of the difficulties of dealing with family, friends, co-workers and everyone. If we go about being unattachedly understanding, (while not allowing ourselves to be pushed around) we can influence others to start adopting a similar attitude.
    Wahe Guru,
    Kulwant
     
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    KulwantK

    In more than one thread today you have mentioned how consciousness that is grounded in "fear" is an obstacle to us as individuals and in community, in sangat. That the consciousness of fear is the opposite of the consciousness of compassion. You are describing something that runs very deep. Would you share more with us about the reasons for "fear" and why it has such a firm grip on the mind. :)
     
  7. KulwantK

    KulwantK
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    Sat Nam, Ji, be happy to do so.
    To begin with, there is nothing inherently wrong with fear, per se. It is a survival mechanism; a tool, as it were, geared to enable us to run away very fast from big threats like fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and other such things that could put our lives in danger were we to hang around in the territory for too long while these things are happening. It also gears us to defend ourselves, if need be, if someone or something decides to attack us. Fear gets the adrenaline glands going, gets the blood circulatory system putting blood to where it may be needed, and quickens our reaction time.
    So, yes there is a good reason for the fear mechanism to be there. All creatures have it in one way or another. Human beings, however, have a bit more of a complicated brain system than other animals, and due to our large memory banks, we have a lot of storage in the brain, enabling us to remember a great many things and ideally, apply those memories in constructive ways to enhance the everyday lives of ourselves and those around us. However, oftenly this is not the case. Something goes awry in the fear section. What happens?
    There is an old saying, first uttered by a Jesuit by the name of Ignatious Loyola. He said, "Give me the child for the first seven years of that child's life, and I will give you the man." This is so true. What it means is that the very first seven years of a child's life shall almost inevitably shape that child's way of percieving things (more on this one in a bit), the way that child associates with other people, how the child goes about solving problems, their sense of humor, food likes and dislikes, color preferences, whether or not the child develops a high capacity for learning, (aka curiosity), the child's attention span, and some observers believe the first seven years will also be highly determining of how long the child's lifespan may be, regardless of genetic history. Obviously, this is going to have a huge bearing on how the child will turn out as an adult, and the consciousness level they attain.
    This is known in most religions, including Sikhism, and so this is why you will read and hear stories of how the Sikh Gurus and Jesus and the various other teachers would always be very welcoming of having children around. They know very well how vastly perceptive children are, and respect it highly.
    You see, most children are much more intelligent and perceptive than most adults ever give them credit for. If you really wish to see true human nature at its finest look at a happy, healthy, well adjusted and aware child. Chances are that child will have very intelligent parents and a very stable and happy, inspirational home. Rather than being whiny and upset, such children are happy, with a gentle sense of humor and play, and want everyone around them to be happy, too-compassion in action!
    Such children will show no fear of anything. They may be cautious to not get to close to the pretty black spider with the red hourglass on its tummy (a poisonous spider called The Black Widow)but that caution is more out of a concern that they do not accidently hurt the spider rather than from any fear for their own well being.
    In contrast, let us take a look at most of the children we see today, and what their parents are doing, and what sort of media influences these children - and the adults- are being exposed to.
    The children are often obviously dissatisfied, and may not be feeling physically well, which adds to their sense of unease and even angry tendencies. Their parents are oftenly overstressed, from work and the demands of parenthood, and many are divorced.
    Most of the items in the news media and in many entertainment industries are based around themes of bad happenings, fearful circumstances, horror, war, and other things that bring up fear.
    In many of the religious teachings of the world, the Divine is oftenly portrayed as a vengeful, wrathful being who has to be placated with sacrifices and such. When a child is exposed to this sort of thing, as well as strife within the family, what sort of an adult do you think that child is going to become? Is it any wonder that we see so many sad things involving children, as well as adults?
    On the other hand, when you raise a child in the light of Guru's teachings, especially to develop the ability to see God in all, you have an individual who is most likely going to be basing their outlook on life in a framework of compassion, rather than fear.
    Most of us carry around various sorts of fears in our subconscious minds, and these fears are those we absorbed as children. Since many of these fears are in the sub-conscious mind, it can be difficult for us to realized we even have them! The brain has done its job well, storing these memories faithfully and we sometimes access them without even realizing what we are doing! This is often why occassionally we will see people engaging in odd, strange or inappropriate behavior in various situations. It also explains sometimes, why we may not like an individual when we first meet them; we do not know why, we just know we don't like them. With a bit of introspection you will often find that individual reminds you of someone you didn't like or someone who hurt you in some way. Once that is realized, then the dislike goes away!
    (By being mindful and watchful of our own thoughts, and doing Nam Simran, we can de-program our own minds from fear based thoughts, even if our first seven years were traumatic, difficult, and full of fearful things.)
    So imagine huge numbers of people whose lives have been shaped more from fear than from compassion. Since when thrown into fits of fear the mind does act think in a rational fashion, and when in a state of detatched compasson the mind works in a very rational way, which do you think would be easier to control? Those who are not thinking rationally, of course.
    This is one reason why we are enjoined to keep Nam Simran. By doing Nam Simran our minds and hearts are turned more towards compassion and rational thinking, and we guard ourselves against allowing our minds to be thrown into a constant round of fear-mode thoughts and the subsequent words and deeds arising from those thoughts. With calmer minds, we are led to have calmer and happier hearts; hearts that have no fear of Truth, and we can act in positive ways to solve difficulties and bear our resonsibilities, rather than fearully waiting around for someone to come save us. People who are fearful often are more willing to abdicate their responsibilities rather than attend to them. In doing so, they also abdicate the use of their rights.
    This, of course, makes it very easy for those bent on controlling others to exercise that control.
    So you can see that it is highly important to work from a frame of reference of unattached compassion in a balanced and fair way, rather than from a framework of fear. Fear is very disempowering, and compassion is very empowering. These dynamics are at work in the home, schools, the workplace and any place human beings are.
    When thoughts and feelings of fear are sufficiently replaced with compassion, people go into burning buildings to perform rescue missions, get others caught in floods out of danger, clear debris from earthquakes to rescue those trapped, and other excellent deeds. All fears can be conquered with Nam Simran! Where there is Love and compassion, there is just no room for fear, and then, truly, our only Sovereign is Guru!
    I would welcome more views on these things-Thank you all again, for starting this thread-
    Wahe Guru
    KulwantK
     

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