work life balance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13772/all en-US 6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075489143_Large.jpg" alt="working mom loving her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working moms and dads seek jobs that provide a blend of good pay, flexibility, and plenty of time off. It's all about striking that ever-important work-life balance. What careers have it all? Here are just a few jobs you might consider if you're a parent and craving a change.</p> <h2>1. Web Developer</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm">new web developer positions</a> to grow 27% by 2024. This is wonderful news if you're a mom or dad into designing and maintaining websites. The median pay for web developers is $63,490 per year or $30.52 per hour. While about one in seven in this position are self-employed, there's a lot of opportunity to work from home full- or even part-time. You just need a computer, coding experience, and a dose of creativity.</p> <h2>2. Freelancer</h2> <p>As a freelance writer, I set my own hours, choose the weight of my workload, and do it all from the comfort of my home office. I write when my daughter is at preschool, while she's sleeping, and I sneak in other bits of work when I find the time. Mustering the discipline to stay focused at home can be a challenge, and quarterly taxes are sometimes annoying. Overall, though, I feel fortunate to have discovered such a wonderful way to use my college degree in writing and pay a nice chunk of our monthly bills.</p> <p>Not great with words? According to <em>Time Magazine</em>, there are at least 17.8 million freelancers who <a href="http://time.com/money/4023097/freelance-economy-facts-stats/">work over 15 hours</a> a week in the United States. A few of the highest paying freelance positions include patent lawyers ($112 per hour), voiceover artists ($72 per hour), and programmers ($61 per hour). Even better, a whopping 2.9 million freelancers brought home over $100,000 in pay last year.</p> <h2>3. IT Data Scientist</h2> <p>What exactly does an IT data scientist do? Just solves complex problems in computing and discovers new uses for existing technology. That's all.</p> <p>The BLS explains that as a computer and information research scientist, you need some major skills and education. Many people interested in this type of work will need to hold a Ph.D. in computer science (or a related field), though some jobs in the federal government only require a bachelor's degree. IT data scientists <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm">earn high salaries</a> (median salary of over $100,000) and only one in 10 worked over 40 hours per week in 2014. If you can swing it, the job outlook is solid with 11% growth leading up to 2024.</p> <h2>4. K-12 Teacher</h2> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. While many may argue that teachers don't get paid enough for their work, the time off, benefits, and opportunities to make extra money are excellent. He leaves for work around 7 a.m. and can be home by 3 p.m. most days of the week. He has 10 weeks off during the summer months and many more throughout the year for holidays and breaks. To supplement our income, he even took on a couple coaching gigs that have increased his salary by more than $10,000 per year.</p> <p>Many teachers also enjoy unique time off benefits, especially related to child care leaves. In New York City, for example, a teacher can apply for <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/DHR/HealthBenefitsLeavesAbsence/NonMedicalLeave/default.htm">child care leave</a> at a maximum of four years after a birth or adoption. Though there is no pay or health insurance during this time, having the option to stay home with a job ready and waiting is certainly appealing to many parents.</p> <h2>5. Other Education</h2> <p>Online adjunct faculty get the best of both worlds with the option to work from home and set their own hours. As the site GetEducated explains, the BLS <a href="http://www.geteducated.com/career-center/detail/online-instructor-post-secondary">doesn't yet separate data</a> with traditional and online post-secondary teachers. Some estimates come in at around $1,500 and $2,500 per semester-long course, but pay varies wildly by institution and position. More and more people are choosing to continue their educations online, so job growth is expected to climb in this field.</p> <p>You'll need an advanced degree and some experience to hold a curriculum development job. Once you're in, many positions are full-time and allow you to work from home. How much will you make? About $60,000 a year. Not too shabby.</p> <h2>6. Call Center Representatives</h2> <p>You've probably been on the phone with a call center representative at one time or another. Some handle customer complaints, while others work on sales or order processing. These folks are employed in most every industry across the board. Did you know that many of them do it from home and set their own hours? It's true!</p> <p>The BLS reports that the median <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm">pay for call center representatives</a> is around $30,000 but the education level required is just a high school diploma. On-the-job training is short and sweet, too. Positions are expected to grow some 10% between now and 2024.</p> <p><em>Don't see your amazing gig listed here? Feel free to share your own top picks in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-manage-costs-while-youre-on-maternity-leave">5 Ways to Manage Costs While You&#039;re on Maternity Leave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-jobs-for-people-who-hate-the-9-5">10 Great Jobs for People Who Hate the 9-5</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family parenting work from home work life balance working dad working mom Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:15:34 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1649807 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_working_baby_000048338582.jpg" alt="Woman finding best jobs for work-life balance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More and more Americans want better work-life balance. In the U.S., <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-dual-career-dynamics-in-the-us#.VjqfBOn8uhM">57% of full-time employees</a> indicate that their spouse or partner works 35 hours or more a week, too.</p> <p>However, no other group craves a better work-life balance more than millennials. While 78% of full-time working millennials have a spouse or partner also working full-time, only 47% of full-time working baby boomers and 68% of Gen X experience this scenario. With two full-time working parents, quality couple time, family time and &quot;me time&quot; are becoming more and more scarce.</p> <p>If your employer doesn't sympathize with your desire for a more flexible arrangement, it may be the time to switch jobs. To help you escape the rat race, here are the four best jobs for work-life balance.</p> <h2>1. Data Scientist</h2> <p>According to Glasdoor's 2015 list of <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/25-jobs-worklife-balance-2015/">best jobs for work-life balance</a>, the role of data scientist provides the best work-life balance. With an average 4.2 rating out of a possible 5.0, data scientist took the top spot in work-life balance across users of the recruiting site over the past year.</p> <p>If you keep on hearing everywhere about the &quot;power of big data,&quot; this is what it's all about. A data scientist uses the power of algorithms to process large amounts of data and use those findings to make recommendations that drive customer engagement and monetization. You'll have to be comfortable working with monster spreadsheets and databases (think millions of rows and several terabytes), develop mad SQL and SAS skills, and keep up with the latest data mining tools and techniques.</p> <p>Companies well-known for providing great perks and flexible schedules, including Facebook and Google, are hiring data scientists. With an average salary of $114,808 (according to Glassdoor), data scientist is one attractive career to look for.</p> <h2>2. Web Developer</h2> <p>U.S. News maintains a <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs">list of 100 best jobs</a> in the nation. The list uses seven criteria, including 10-year growth volume, employment rate, and work-life balance, to rank the jobs. While U.S. News gave the dentist occupation the top spot in its list of best jobs, a closer look to the job satisfaction reviews shows that the web developer occupation provides better work-life balance.</p> <p>According to U.S. News, web developers tend to have above average upward mobility, below average stress level, and high flexibility. Interviewed employers indicate that often their web developers <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/web-developer/reviews">don't have to punch a clock</a>. &quot;We set deadlines, and as long as they get their work done, we're flexible with hours.&quot; two employers said to U.S. News.</p> <p>The median annual salary of a web developer was <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/web-developer/salary">$63,160 in 2013</a>, with individuals earning between $33,320 and $110,350.</p> <h2>3. Tutor</h2> <p>In a study from Ernst &amp; Young, respondents pointed out that the <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-people-want-flexibility">option to telecommute</a> (working from another location other than the office or client site) is an important flexibility issue. In the same survey, millennials are more likely to say it's important to be able to telecommute one to two days a week.</p> <p>Tutoring enables individuals looking to telecommute as much as possible to really own their schedule. For example, since 2006 I have been tutoring business professionals to prepare for the GMAT, a standardized admission test used by most MBA programs around the world. I have been able to consistently tutor students first in Mexico and now in the United States. Currently, I work with Kaplan, a test prep company, and I'm able to teach students in person and online on my own schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-jobs-for-expats-and-travelers">The 3 Best Jobs for Expats and Travelers</a>)</p> <p>With the advent of several online tutoring sites, such as Tutor.com, Skillshare, and Wyzant, you're not limited to your geographic area and can find students across the world. Some sites, such as Tutor.com, require you to commit to tutor at least five hours per week. However, you decide when those hours happen.</p> <p>Having the ability to do their job in any country is key for millennials as 38% of them would make the sacrifice to <a href="http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Our-people-and-culture/EY-study-highlights-dual-career-dynamics-in-the-us#.VkV5zt-rSRu">move a country with better parental leave</a> benefits.</p> <h2>4. Talent Acquisition Specialist</h2> <p>Ranking third on Glassdoor's list, the talent acquisition specialist has a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 in work-life balance satisfaction. Also known as recruiters or human resources (HR) specialists, talent acquisition specialists are in charge of finding, screening, interviewing, and recommending the best candidates for a job opening. One key requirement for talent acquisition specialists is people skills. If you can't get along with different people in different settings, then this may not be the field for you.</p> <p>While Glassdoor says that the average salary for this position is $63,504, U.S. News puts the <a href="http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/hr-specialist">median salary at $56,850</a>. One of the main advantages of this occupation is stability, given that employment in this field is expected to balloon 15.5% from 2012 to 2022.</p> <p>To some, it may come off as a surprise that respondents to the Glassdoor survey gave such a high rating to the work-life balance satisfaction of this job. However, those critics should keep in mind the following points:</p> <ul> <li>Like web developers, talent acquisition specialists have to meet deadlines and have flexibility as long as they can hit their numbers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Like tutors, talent acquisition specialists can leverage the web and their cellphone to do the bulk of the work remotely. With cloud-based HR software becoming the industry norm, a recruiter can do her work as long as she has an Internet connection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Depending on their field of specialization, HR specialists have different hours and hiring seasons. Many recruiters welcome the break of pace and opt to work only during hiring seasons or on a part-time basis.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are other great jobs to achieve better work-life balance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie">How to get a job--learn the secret from a bad movie</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-job-hunt-without-getting-caught">9 Ways to Job Hunt Without Getting Caught</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting career job hunting job search work life balance Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:00:32 +0000 Damian Davila 1614975 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Employers for Single Parents http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_daughter_000050667160.jpg" alt="Man finding best companies for single parents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Building a career is challenging enough. If you're a single parent? You're working even harder. It's no easy task to manage that work-life balance. How do you give both your children and your career the attention they deserve?</p> <p>You can start by working at a company that actually respects the concept of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">work-life balance</a>. And if you're a single parent, it helps to work for a company that allows employees to work at least part-time from home, provides flexible scheduling, and offers on-site daycare.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are companies like this. Here is a list &mdash; in no particular order and compiled from some of the most respected work-life rankings available &mdash; of the companies that single parents should target.</p> <h2>1. IBM</h2> <p>This venerable tech company based in Armonk, New York, has been featured on Working Mother Magazine's &quot;100 Best Companies&quot; list for all 30 years that the magazine has run this feature. The company's work-life benefits &mdash; key for single parents &mdash; are a big reason.</p> <p>IBM offers parents subsidized daycare options and provides a 529 plan that parents can tap to save money for their children's college educations. IBM also offers financial counseling and college coaching to its employees, something that can help single parents trying to juggle budgeting, raising children, and furthering their education.</p> <h2>2. General Mills</h2> <p>The food-manufacturer based in Minneapolis is also a mainstay of Working Mother Magazine's list. According to the magazine's 2015 list, General Mills offers job-sharing, telecommuting, and flexible schedules to its employees. This is important to single parents hoping to work around at least some of their children's extracurricular activities or who want to drop their children off at school each morning.</p> <p>Not all employees take advantage of these flexible working hours. But Working Mother Magazine reported in its 2015 list that 63% of employees do rely on flexible scheduling and telecommuting at least some of the time.</p> <p>New parents at General Mills are given the choice to reduce their working hours for up to eight weeks as they return to work after maternity or paternity leave.</p> <h2>3. Colgate-Palmolive</h2> <p>In 2015, Forbes worked with employment site <a href="http://www.indeed.com/">Indeed</a> to create a list of the 25 best companies for work-life balance. New York City-based Colgate-Palmolive, famous for its toothpaste and dish soaps, topped the list. Benefits that appeal to single parents are a major reason why.</p> <p>The company offers tuition assistance to parents who want to earn degrees that will help them further support their children. It also offers onsite childcare and free legal and financial counseling to employees. When single parents have to move, they can ease at least some of the stress by taking advantage of Colgate-Palmolive's relocation assistance.</p> <h2>4. SAS Institute</h2> <p>You might not have heard of SAS Institute &mdash; the Cary, North Carolina company is a software analytics company, but this employer has become a favorite of workers. In 2013, Fast Company Magazine featured SAS in a story headlined &quot;How SAS Became the World's Best Place to Work,&quot; and employment site Glassdoor ranked SAS highly in its most recent &quot;Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance&quot; list.</p> <p>Of particular interest to single parents? SAS leaders don't focus needlessly on the amount of hours that employees spend in the office. In fact, the company operates a 35-hour work week. This doesn't mean that employees only work 35 hours. Many choose to work more. But for single parents, the option to work fewer hours is a tempting one, making it far easier to shuttle kids around and attend band concerts.</p> <p>SAS also offers discounted child care, an onsite healthcare clinic, onsite gym for parents who want a de-stressing workout, and free work-life counseling for those struggling to juggle their roles as single parents and employees.</p> <h2>5. Wegmans Food Markets</h2> <p>Supermarket chains don't always have stellar reputations when it comes to parent-friendly benefits. Wegmans Food Markets, based in Rochester, New York, is the exception.</p> <p>Fortune Magazine ranked Wegmans seventh on its 2015 list of the &quot;100 Best Companies to Work For.&quot; It's an especially good place for single parents who want to return to college to boost their earning potential. Wegmans provides tuition assistance for both its full and part-time employees, according to Fortune.</p> <p>The supermarket chain also covers 85% to 100% of the health care costs of its employees and their dependents, a huge benefit for single parents worried about covering their children's medical bills. And for those who want to spend more time at home when their children are actually awake? Wegmans offer flexible working hours.</p> <h2>6. Quicken Loans</h2> <p>ComputerWorld in 2015 ranked Detroit-based mortgage lender Quicken Loans as the best place for IT workers. That's a heady honor, but Quicken Loans is actually a great place for anyone to work, especially single parents.</p> <p>Just look at the benefits that single parents can tap: Those who have adopted will earn a $5,000 adoption benefit and 10 days of paid leave. Quicken offers all of its workers 26 days of annual paid holiday and vacation leave after one year of service, and provides 90 days of job-protected maternity leave.</p> <p>The lender also provides onsite child care, telecommuting options, and flexible scheduling.</p> <h2>7. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts</h2> <p>The hospitality industry is another that doesn't have a reputation for providing top benefits. Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is an exception, according to Fortune Magazine, which ranked the hotel chain as one of its best places to work for 2015.</p> <p>According to Fortune, Four Seasons provides 30 days of protected maternity leave for new parents and offers 19 days of holiday and vacation days each year to employees who have worked at the company for at least one year.</p> <p>For single parents who need to work flexible hours, Four Seasons offers compressed work weeks (employees can work more hours in a shorter number of days), telecommuting, and flexible work schedules. Those parents without cars can receive subsidized public transportation to and from work.</p> <p><em>Would you seek out a job that offered great work-life balance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-employers-for-single-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-skills-for-working-moms">10 Life Skills for Working Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-high-paying-jobs-for-introverts">The 10 Best High Paying Jobs for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Family child care employment flexible jobs single parents work life balance Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:00:36 +0000 Dan Rafter 1587463 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Secrets About Life and Career From "Office Space" http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4819651664_e083ac9013_z_0.jpg" alt="office" title="office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let&rsquo;s get one thing clear &mdash; I don&rsquo;t think Mike Judge wrote the movie &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; to help people improve their career prospects or &ldquo;find themselves.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a funny, and searing, indictment on the modern workplace (aka cubicle farms), and it did the job so well, it&rsquo;s become one of the best-selling DVDs ever.</p> <p>But when you get beneath the oft-repeated quotes (&ldquo;Hey Peter, what&rsquo;s happening,&rdquo; &ldquo;Looks like someone has a case of the Mun-days,&rdquo; and &ldquo;I believe you have my stapler&rdquo;) there&rsquo;s a lot more to &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; than great satire.</p> <p>So let&rsquo;s look at seven work and life lessons we can all learn from the movie. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-lessons-from-the-hunger-games">Financial Lessons From &quot;The Hunger Games&quot;</a>)</p> <h3>1. Life&rsquo;s Too Short to Work at a Job You Hate</h3> <p>Peter Gibbons hates his job. Every day is a prison sentence. In fact, he confesses to a shrink that every day is the worst day of his life:</p> <blockquote><p>So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.</p> </blockquote> <p>His best friends and co-workers Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar also dislike <em>their </em>jobs but not with the same disdain and loathing as Peter. Even the squirrelly Milton Waddams has major issues, as he is constantly moved and demoted. And across the street, Peter&rsquo;s girlfriend Joanna hates her job at Chotchkie&rsquo;s, where flair must be worn to keep the customers happy.</p> <p>In short, everybody in &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; seems to hate their jobs.</p> <p>In a bad economy, people are thankful to have any job at all, so advising you all to quit your awful jobs and wait for something better to come along is not what I have in mind. But if you don&rsquo;t have a better job lined up, work at making your current job easier to tolerate. Many of the big problems are never going to change, but you can change your outlook on them. I&rsquo;ve done it myself, and sometimes I have to remind myself to do it or fall into the trap of whining and complaining. Don&rsquo;t let hate, anger, and apathy rule your working life.</p> <h3>2. You Have the Ability to Change Your Work Environment</h3> <p>Directly related to the point above, &quot;Office Space&quot; shows us what happens when a guy who hates his job makes it completely livable. When Peter gets hypnotized by the psychiatrist, his paradigm shifts. He decides to lay in bed all day and not go into the office on the weekend. He becomes completely honest with &ldquo;the Bobs,&rdquo; the consultants brought in to make staff cut recommendations, and it does him credit. He removes one of the walls of his cubicle to see the scenery. He changes what was seemingly unchangeable, and he becomes better for it.</p> <p>Sleeping in all day when we should be at work is probably not an option for most of us. We can&rsquo;t go hacking up the furniture and building. But we can make changes, however small, that help us out. If you really hate your work environment, see if you can change it. Maybe you can be moved to a different area. Maybe you can get a better view. Is the lighting awful? Can you have it switched off, and bring in your own ambient lighting? Can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-your-best-work-hours">work flexible hours</a>, maybe to avoid bad traffic or work around a schedule you prefer? Employers are more accommodating than you&rsquo;d think, and even the smallest changes could make a big difference to your happiness.</p> <h3>3. Your Dreams Can Come True (in the Strangest Ways)</h3> <p>Consider Tom Smykowski, the mustachioed anxiety-ridden &ldquo;people person&rdquo; who was one of the first to get axed by &ldquo;the Bobs.&rdquo; He had an idea. Not a great idea. Not even a mediocre idea. It was the &ldquo;Jump to Conclusions&rdquo; mat, and it was his version of the Pet Rock. Basically, he took the Twister mat concept and put different conclusions on it, that the user could them jump to.</p> <p>As Michael Bolton said, with a sigh, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the worst idea I&rsquo;ve ever heard in my life...&rdquo;</p> <p>But it was Tom&rsquo;s baby. He loved it. We wanted it to happen. And when he got fired, his failed suicide attempt resulted in a bizarre accident that got him a seven-figure settlement from the auto insurance company.</p> <p>Yes, he was in a neck brace and back brace, he and broke every major bone in his body. But he was also the creator of the Jump to Conclusions mat! His dream came true, and at a time when he should have been at his lowest.</p> <p>So whether you have a terrible idea like the Jump to Conclusions mat, or something that actually has a chance of being bought and used, never give up on your dream. Life has this habit of delivering right when you least expect it.</p> <h3>4. Don&rsquo;t Be Afraid to Visit the Therapist</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re having major problems with your job, your direction in life, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank">your relationship</a>, then do not rule out therapy. Most insurance plans cover therapy with a co-pay for at least a few months of weekly sessions. And once you get over the hurdle of admitting you need help, those sessions can help you find some balance and peace.</p> <p>Peter went to an occupational therapist who tried to hypnotize him, and during the process, the therapist died and left Peter in a trance. The trance became the most significant improvement in his adult life. Or at least, it was the catalyst.</p> <p>Therapy can be a great way to help you relieve some of the burden. Talking about your problems can help you resolve them. And you could finally figure out the direction you want to take in life, if you haven&rsquo;t done so already.</p> <h3>5. Deal With Small Irritations Before They Become Big Problems</h3> <blockquote><p>Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment! Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment!</p> </blockquote> <p>If you hear that hour after hour, day after day, eventually you&rsquo;re going to snap. And you can&rsquo;t snap if you want to keep your job.</p> <p>Find a way to neutralize the little annoyances before the straw breaks the camel&rsquo;s back. Maybe it requires the wearing of headphones or moving to a different place in the building. Sometimes all it takes is a little conversation. I have heard stories at my current job of a woman who used to spray perfume and deodorant at least once an hour. There was a cloud of the stuff hanging over her cubicle. It was resolved with just a quick conversation, but not after several people went months complaining to each other but not to the person who could do something about it.</p> <h3>6. It&rsquo;s Not a Good Job If It Makes You Unhappy</h3> <p>Two people in the movie start out with what many would consider &ldquo;good jobs&rdquo; only to end up with jobs that most would consider awful. Peter goes from working an office job, with a suit, tie, and business card, to cleaning up on a construction crew. He&rsquo;s happier with his hard hat and shovel, working in the sunshine, than he ever was in his grey cubicle.</p> <p>We also meet Steve, a guy selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He pretends to be a former crack addict, but he&rsquo;s actually a former software engineer, just like Peter, who now makes more money selling magazines. And he likes it.</p> <p>So, don&rsquo;t think that the job you&rsquo;re in is the one you need to stay in. Don&rsquo;t even think the career you chose is set in stone. Life gives us plenty of chances to change paths. We can retrain. We can set up our own home businesses. I&rsquo;ve talked to several people this week who quit corporate jobs to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-still-make-money-with-ebay">start eBay businesses</a>, work their own hours, and avoid the kind of stress that comes with corporate politics.</p> <h3>7. Get Your Facts Straight Before You Act</h3> <p>There are several instances in &ldquo;Office Space&rdquo; that illustrate the dangers of hearing things second hand, or misunderstanding what you&rsquo;ve been told.</p> <p>Peter believes his girlfriend once had a relationship with his boss, Bill Lumbergh, a vile, soulless pig of a man. Turns out it was a different Lumbergh, but that didn&rsquo;t stop them almost breaking up.</p> <p>Peter assumes that the software he installed to steal fractions of pennies from his company would result in a lenient, country club prison sentence with conjugal visits. He was way off.</p> <p>Michael assumes that because he works hard, and Peter is flaky, it will be Peter that will be the one getting marching orders from the efficiency experts. Actually, both he and his friend Samir are getting the ax. Peter is getting a promotion.</p> <p>You never know what anyone&rsquo;s plans are until you see them yourself or you hear them from several legitimate sources. So, don&rsquo;t worry about rumors, and don&rsquo;t play the gossip games. They will only hurt you and your career.</p> <p><em>Can you recall any work/life lessons from &quot;Office Space&quot; I may have missed? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money">5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-for-a-better-netflix-experience">6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Entertainment career changes movies Office Space work life balance Mon, 14 Jan 2013 10:48:43 +0000 Paul Michael 957045 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_time.jpg" alt="Family enjoying time together" title="Family enjoying time together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying on top of your A-game and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can feel like an oxymoron. Most of us experience an uneven pull between our social lives and work commitments, which isn't surprising considering the current economy and fact that employees everywhere are working overtime to show they're an indispensable part of the team. Nevertheless, it's important to establish a healthy harmony between your job and personal life. This doesn't just mean working overtime to please your boss and boyfriend; it means creating a balance of time spent working, playing, and pleasing yourself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Have-Work-Life-Balance-18939472">RELATED: Work-Life Balance Tips for Newbies</a></p> <h3>Foster Healthy Weekday Habits</h3> <p>If we're not careful the weekdays can become one big work blur. Instigate healthy habits by taking a trip to the grocery store (save on groceries with <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Grocery-Store-Tips-Tricks-2011-01-06-082509-2728452">these tricks</a>) on Sunday and planning the meals you will make at home during the week, or challenge yourself to visit the gym four nights in one week. The time away from the computer and work worries will clear your mind, allow you to focus, and likely inspire you to be more productive when you are at the computer.</p> <h3>Learn the Value of Saying No</h3> <p>Most SavvySugar readers admit they have a hard time <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/2744173">saying no to work and social invitations</a>, which means many of you are getting roped into projects, parties, and events you'd rather say &quot;no way, Jose!&quot; to. Next time you are invited to something, weigh the benefit and cost before saying yes. If you think the event or project will have a positive impact on your productivity, career, and networking without disrupting your non-work schedule, go for it. If you think your personal life will suffer because of it, say no.</p> <p>Remember, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Women-Can-Succeed-Work-17959721">don't be too &quot;nice&quot;</a> or you may not be able to get ahead at work.</p> <h3>Set Calendar Reminders</h3> <p>Set goals, appointments, lunch dates, or even eye breaks or gym appointments in your work calendar. The little office notification will pop up and force you to stop what you are doing and focus on your goal.</p> <h3>Put Family First When You're Home</h3> <p>Your family and loved ones will come to resent you if you keep your eyes on your laptop or phone every night. Make quality-time dates with your family or significant other after dinner to distract you from your workload. The work will always be there in the morning, or after <em>Glee</em>. Savor your at-home time while you can.</p> <h3>Get Your Zzzs</h3> <p>When you're running up against the clock and finishing a high priority project, it's easy to lose track of time and pull an all-nighter. But chances are you won't produce your best work at 4 a.m. after 20 hours in front of the computer. Don't compromise your sleeping schedule or ignore the power of your beauty rest. The pile will still be there in the morning, and chances are your co-workers won't respond to their email before 9 a.m. anyway.</p> <p>Having trouble waking up? Use <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Wake-Up-Fast-21385387">these tips</a> to wake up and get out of bed fast.</p> <h3>Know When to Unplug</h3> <p>While most of us can't finish all our tasks while we are in the office, it's crucial to set boundaries. If you carry your laptop home with you at night and often work on it while watching TV or hanging out at home for more than an hour, stay at work for an extra 45 minutes instead to finish critical tasks and leave your computer at the office. If you carry your BlackBerry with you everywhere and check work email every five minutes, make a rule to only check it once or twice an hour. You'll be more productive and still be able to relax and focus on your non-work life.</p> <h3>Sign Up For a Class</h3> <p>If challenging yourself to cook or visit the gym isn't doing the trick, sign up for a class you can't miss. If you pre-pay for a yoga or French pastry class you will be more likely to show up and detach from work for those few hours.</p> <h3>Take Personal Breaks During the Day</h3> <p>Unless your employer asks you to clock in and out for breaks, you should assume responsibility for your time. Make sure you've scoped out your manager's take on personal breaks and then make a schedule to give yourself 15 or 20 minutes of break time during the day. Take a walk around the block and call your mom or BFF. Make a list of errands you need to accomplish during the week and then sit outside Starbucks for 15 minutes while you make your phone calls. Your fellow employees will appreciate you not making personal calls in the office and you will feel as though you've taken a work break and taken care of your personal items.</p> <h3>Leave Work at a Decent Time</h3> <p>Employers pay attention to the time you commit on the job, but that doesn't mean you need to stay until dark every night of the week. Stay late when you need to finish a project, but don't be afraid to make plans during the week that will force you to leave the office at a decent time. Getting outside at a healthy time will boost your mood and make you happier about resuming your work in the morning.</p> <h3>Schedule &quot;Work Hours&quot; at Home</h3> <p>If you must work at home, set some time limits. Make dinner with your family, wind down with a little TV or a chapter of a book, and then work for an hour or two and return to &quot;me time.&quot; Better yet, work for an hour before dinner and then spend the rest of the night worry-free.</p> <h3>Keep Work (and Your Laptop) Out of the Bedroom</h3> <p>If you do work at home, make sure to establish &quot;no-work zones&quot; in the house. In my mind, work, laptops, and smartphones shouldn't be allowed in the bathroom or bedroom. Set up a definitive work area at the dining room table, your home office, or the coffee table.</p> <h3>Figure Out How to Be Happy at Work</h3> <p>Being happy with your work life is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make a friend at the office and invite her to lunch once a week, or grab your work BFF and the new gals from the department upstairs and indulge in an ice cream or happy hour. The better your relationships with colleagues the more likely you'll be to turn to them for project support or advice if you need it.</p> <h3>Challenge Your Partner or a Friend</h3> <p>If you have trouble detaching from work and unwinding from a stressful day at the office, challenge your partner or friend to get out of the house too! Plan weekly runs or walks through the neighborhood, a new dish you can make together, or simply commit to sitting and talking for two hours about anything but work. You'll quickly find you have a million things to talk about other than the annoying girl down the hall who keeps undermining you in meetings.</p> <h3>Drowning? Speak Up!</h3> <p>If the projects keep piling up and you're physically incapable of finishing all your assigned tasks during work hours (and all the overtime you put in!), sit down with your manager and explain the situation. Let her know how many hours you have been working overtime and discuss other team members who may be able to assist you or the possibility of hiring an intern. Chances are your manager is fully aware of how hard you have been working (or should be!) and can help you devise a better time management plan.</p> <h3>Reward Yourself</h3> <p>After challenging yourself to focus on your work-life balance, don't forget to reward yourself for making an effort to change. Send yourself flowers or treat yourself to a manicure. You'll feel proud every time you look over at the flowers or your fancy nails and be motivated to keep your new healthy habits.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Want to be happier at work AND at home? Follow these suggestions to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and joyful. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Alternative-Treatments-Relaxation-18941471">4 Alternative Treatments to Uplift Your Work&nbsp;Self</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Take-Break-From-Work-18918589">Secrets to Beating Your Work&nbsp;Exhaustion</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Morning-Productivity-Tips-8112332">Make Every Morning More Productive</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-happier">Book review: Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips family time happiness how to reward myself work life balance Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:24:22 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 886206 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Work-Life Balance Blunders to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007256184Small_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Achieving perfect work-life balance is not easy, but you already know that. What you may not realize is that dogged pursuit of balance is not always desirable. Just as being a workaholic can wreck personal relationships, blindly adhering to a formulaic mix of career, family, and outside interests can harm both your professional and personal lives.</p> <p>Flexibility is crucial to achieving work-life rightness.</p> <p>Looking at myself and others, I have witnessed work-life balance blunders, not the one-time kind but the recurring ones. The worst offenders can lead to lagging careers, struggling families, and frazzled nerves.</p> <h3>Trying to Always Maintain Work-Life Balance</h3> <p>There will be days or weeks or even months when you&rsquo;ll need to dedicate most of your waking hours to a business initiative <i>or</i> deal with a personal issue. The scenarios may be once-in-a-decade opportunities, such as a global expansion, a new product close to market introduction, or a big push to bring together pieces of a years-long project. Or, situations may arise that require your full attention in your private life, such as a family move to a new home, personal illness, or changes in your child&rsquo;s school situation.</p> <p>All-out effort in one area of your life will be essential to success. Splitting time may result in business disaster or personal setbacks that could, ironically, upset work-life balance for years to come.</p> <p>Planning for certain activities &mdash; the big project or the family move, for example &mdash; can help minimize changes in the short term. But realizing that you may not be able to sustain perfect balance all the time is important. Adjust your expectations and modify your schedule to attend to urgent and important matters before returning to equilibrium.</p> <h3>Spending Too Much on Time-Saving Services and Products</h3> <p>Convenience items can be godsends when pressed for time. Dinners out and prepared meals from the catering company, for example, let you work straight through the afternoon and early evening to dinner time. Lawn care and handyman services give you leisure time on the weekends.</p> <p>Expenses associated with time savings, though, can crush your household budget. You may have to work longer hours to pay for these services, eventually throwing work-life balance off kilter. Measuring ROI of convenience may seem over the top but it is important to consider whether you are really getting the total time payoff you need from your expenditures.</p> <h3>Forgetting to Set and Achieve Financial Goals</h3> <p>Managing work-life balance can be all-consuming, especially if you have <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-at-home">children at home</a>. Day-to-day activities, such as meeting with clients or coaching your child&rsquo;s baseball team, can take precedence over longer term concerns. You can excel at generating income and enjoy a satisfying personal life but neglect building wealth.</p> <p>Set goals that cover all aspects of your finances including business profits, timelines for loan payoffs, and asset accumulation. Monitor progress and fine-tune work-life balance to reach these goals.</p> <h3>Not Devoting Time to Professional Development and Personal Enrichment</h3> <p>Just as long-term financial goals may be forgotten, professional development and personal enrichment activities may be skipped to focus on the present. Engineered schedules may not allow large chunks of time dedicated to making major life improvements.</p> <p>Consider long-term goals when mapping out your schedule. Reaching the next level of work and life success may require many hours each week for an extended period of time (several months of study in preparation for an exam to earn a professional designation or fitness training in preparation for a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/business-lessons-from-a-triathlon-julie-rains">triathlon</a>, for example). Devise plans and negotiate temporarily-altered schedules that allow you to complete a program before returning to a more equitable work-life balance.</p> <h3>Attending Every Event in which Your Child Participates</h3> <p>Being there for special moments is wonderful when your children are young and just as great when they are older. But it&rsquo;s easy to become overbooked with commitments when your kids have weekly sporting events and academic competitions, monthly parent meetings, seasonal recognition ceremonies, etc.</p> <p>Accept that you may not be able to make every event and activity. Determine what is truly important to you and your child, and commit to these events.</p> <h3>Missing Changes in the World and Your Life</h3> <p>Work-life balance allows you to enjoy what is happening right now. But holding tightly to the present can be seductive, preventing you from noticing and dealing with changes in economic conditions, competitive forces, children&rsquo;s development, and family needs.</p> <p>Accept that your work and life will change during the course of your career, leading to a shift in priorities and blur in focus for certain periods. Be patient with yourself during times of readjustment. Commit to periodic evaluations of professional and personal goals, and plan on emphasizing one or two areas of your life as needed. Aim for work-life balance for the long haul, not a short time horizon.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-work-life-balance-blunders-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unlimited-cash-rewards-for-your-business-capital-one-spark-cash-for-business-credit-card-review">Unlimited Cash Rewards for Your Business: Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center family career balance small business work life balance workaholism Wed, 25 May 2011 20:05:20 +0000 Julie Rains 541640 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Steps to Work-Life Balance When Working from Home http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-at-home" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/7-steps-to-work-life-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009115427Small.jpg" alt="Work at home mom" title="Work at home mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home can be challenging.</p> <p>If you have a family, you know exactly what I&rsquo;m talking about. Kids get underfoot, spouses interrupt, telephone calls disturb, and friends stop by at the worst possible moments. It seems like you&rsquo;re always playing catch up to get work done or feeling guilty that you&rsquo;re not spending enough time with your loved ones.</p> <p>Even if you&rsquo;ve trained your loved ones to respect your work hours, there&rsquo;s still the challenge of maintaining good work-life balance. You set your own hours and there isn&rsquo;t anyone to tell you when to punch your time card for the day...or when to get back to work because you&rsquo;ve been goofing off.</p> <p>With good organization, however, you can have the best of all worlds: a healthy work-life balance that fits everyone&rsquo;s needs and a smart schedule that gives you the right amount of office time &mdash; and some playtime, too.</p> <h3>Step One: Start Scheduling</h3> <p>Grab a blank weekly calendar (or use Google&rsquo;s free calendar feature) and start penciling in family activities and obligations, from school drop-offs to lacrosse practice to mealtime to laundry. Beginning with these gives you the opportunity to work around your life &mdash; and avoid feeling that life revolves around work!</p> <p>As you start building your schedule, be realistic and honest about how much time each activity takes from your day. Many people forget to factor in the time it takes to drive to activities or settle the kids in before starting to work, which means they have to work extra hours to catch up, always feel rushed or working late into the night to meet deadlines.</p> <h3>Step Two: See What&rsquo;s Left</h3> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve scheduled your life activities into your calendar, look over it and see where the empty blocks appear. These blocks are where you can fit in work time. Here&rsquo;s where you can see whether you have enough time to get all your work done or need to rearrange life activities to give yourself enough room.</p> <p>Remember that you can also hire help to free up some work hours &mdash; get a babysitter for the kids a few hours a week, recruit your spouse for driving duties, or arrange for someone to help with meals, laundry, and housecleaning. You don&rsquo;t have to do it all (none of us are superheroes!), and it&rsquo;s often well worth it to pay someone else for certain tasks so you can free up time to earn income.</p> <p>Watch for patterns in your days, too. You may notice that you&rsquo;re a productive bunny in the mornings but a sloth in the afternoons &mdash; so use the morning time to get work out of the way and take care of less strenuous tasks in the afternoon.</p> <h3>Step Three: Expect the Unexpected</h3> <p>When adding to your calendar, it&rsquo;s a good idea to book in an hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time every day. This block of time is a free hour that lets you deal with any unexpected delays, events, or interruptions that might arise unexpectedly.</p> <p>And if nothing occurs in your day that you need to dip into that hour of &ldquo;unexpected&rdquo; time... well, you just gained an hour to do whatever you&rsquo;d like! You can put in an extra hour to finish up that project, work on a new task, or send out some sales pitches to potential new customers.</p> <h3>Step Four: Be Your Own Bulldog</h3> <p>Once your work hours have been set into your calendar, guard them like a bulldog. Those hours are your office hours, and your family and friends need to know about them so that they can avoid disturbing you. You&rsquo;ve already planned your life activities and know that you&rsquo;ll be there for them, so respect your work time in the same way.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s best to set regular work hours people can rely on so they can easily remember when you&rsquo;re &ldquo;in&rdquo; the office and when you&rsquo;re free. Post your office hours everywhere &mdash; on your website, your blog, your contact page, your email signature, and even on your office door for your family to see. This shows people that you&rsquo;re serious about your work.</p> <p>Setting regular office hours for yourself is also great for customers &mdash; they know exactly when you&rsquo;re available and can get in touch with you easily during that time, and you won&rsquo;t feel pressured to check your email every 15 minutes when you&rsquo;re off duty.</p> <p>Help family and friends respect your work hours, too. Don&rsquo;t get up for every interruption, especially if the person knows that you&rsquo;re working. With a smile, cheerfully remind them of your work hours and tell them you&rsquo;ll come to see them as soon as work&rsquo;s over. They may not like it at first, but your family will soon come to respect your work time because YOU respect it. The interruptions slow and then stop completely if you stick to your guns.</p> <h3>Step Five: Get Focused</h3> <p>Treat your work hours as sacred (barring family emergencies, of course). Let phone calls go to voice mail, close your email and for heaven&rsquo;s sake, stop Twittering and Facebooking when your time&rsquo;s up.</p> <p>Balancing work and life means being effective with the time you have to work, so don&rsquo;t waste it on distractions and interruptions. If family and friends show up, politely tell them you&rsquo;re busy but would love to catch up later &mdash; or even better, just don&rsquo;t go to the door.</p> <p>Of course, working with young children at home is more challenging. So be creative and try to make your office hours fun for them so that you can focus on what you need to do. Set an egg timer for 30 minutes and then find a fun activity that will keep kids busy. Let them take the contents of your shredder to use as nesting material for their stuffed animals, set them up to color, paint, read a book ,or (gasp) let them watch their favorite TV show.</p> <p>Then get ready to get to work!</p> <h3>Step Six: Break It Down</h3> <p>Before you begin working, start by breaking down your time into small chunks of tasks. By planning bite-sized tasks for your work hours, you can maximize your time and get a lot more done. Believe me, sitting down without a plan and saying, &ldquo;Well, I should do really some work...&rdquo; usually results in you spending your time picking away at a bunch of things that don&rsquo;t really get you anywhere.</p> <p>Get focused. For example, if you have an hour of time to work, use the first 30 minutes to clean up 10 emails. Use the next 20 minutes for social media networking. Take 10 minutes to call a client. And use the last 30 minutes to write a draft blog post.</p> <h3>Step Seven: Take Care of You</h3> <p>When you made your schedule, did you remember to pencil in free hours and playtime? Probably not &mdash; you were probably busy writing in your obligations and trying to fit work around them.</p> <p>But all work and no play makes for fast burnout, and that means you absolutely need to give yourself time off and consider it sacrosanct.</p> <p>So book an hour each week for a long bath and a good book. Block out 30 minutes each evening to read a story to your kids. Schedule a movie night with your partner. Reserve 45 minutes every morning for a walk. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget to schedule in a good eight hours of sleep every day. Shortcutting on sleep can have detrimental effects on your work productivity.</p> <p>Make time for you, your loved ones and your friends. It&rsquo;s important to make sure you feel balanced and healthy... not burned out and resentful!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heather-allard">Heather Allard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-steps-to-work-life-balance-when-working-from-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-jobs-for-working-moms-and-dads">6 Best Jobs for Working Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-paid-real-money-from-virtual-work">Get Paid Real Money From Virtual Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/convince-the-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home">How to Get Your Boss to Let You Work From Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center small business telecommuting time management work from home work life balance Thu, 05 May 2011 21:18:37 +0000 Heather Allard 532481 at http://www.wisebread.com