I logged onto Training Zone this morning and was hit between the eyes with a headline article with ‘why work-life balance is even more important than before’

At this point, I started to froth slightly at the mouth. You may wonder, why? After all, I am the co-author of ‘how to make partner and still have a life‘ (which I am pleased to say published on both Kindle and Paperback a couple of weeks ago, which is part of the reason I have been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last two weeks) Surely I should be all for companies and individual’s striving for a good life balance. 

Well, I’m not. 

I’ll explain why. 

Work-life balance is a myth

There is no such thing as work/life balance. In fact, you are only kidding yourself if you aim for this, because:

You only have one life.

Therefore, you owe it to yourself to live the life you want to lead. Most of us were not fortunate to born into money or win the lottery, so work is going to feature in our lives. Even in the most dead end boring job, you are still alive, living and breathing. (In fact the concept of ‘work/life’ balance is something which came from the industrial age, when work often meant hard physical labour.) Only you can take responsibility for building a life which makes you happy. This means it is up to you to decide how work is going to feature in your life.

Let’s look at this in more detail. If we are going to discard going for "work/life balance" (as this is a myth), then we need to strive to be happy and fulfilled inside and outside of work. After all, let’s emphasise this again, all of us only have one life to live. (If you are reading this and thinking about your own employees, how are you helping them to identify their values, passions, interests and bring these to work with them?)

There are a couple of pointers to be fulfilled inside and outside of work (and these don’t have anything to do with the European Country you live in, despite what the training zone headline article was suggesting):

1. Surround yourself with people who you like and respect.

This makes ‘work’ far more enjoyable and fun. If you are in a firm whose environment, people or culture doesn’t gel with who you are, then take responsibility and make some changes – ultimately this probably means moving your firm.

2. Choose a specialism and client base which you are passionate about.

I probably work far more hours than I ever did when employed – but am far happier and more satisfied than ever before with my lot in life. The difference is that now I work on what I am passionate about, and with clients I want to work with. If you are going to spend potentially 20-30 years working in your specialism, does this sound positive or negative? If it sounds negative, what changes can you make over the next couple of years to change this to doing something you are truly passionate about? The more passionate and fulfilled you are by your work, the easier it becomes to satisfied with your lot in life.

Our (free download) weekly planner and (free download) career action plan are two resources which can help you achieve your career ambition, whilst living the life you want to live, in all the roles you want to play in your life.

What’s your view? Does work/life balance exist or not exist?