6 ways to improve your work-life balance without taking a pay cut

Work-life balance

Work-life balance was the top reason people decided to look for a new job last year, with many saying they’d take a pay cut for more flexible arrangements. But Career Coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine says it’s not always necessary to prioritise your personal life over money and vice versa. She says there are six clear steps to improve your work-life balance without finding a new job.

1 Determine what’s important to you
A survey conducted in the US by Fidelity Investments shows there are several different criteria used to measure work-life quality: career development, purpose, company culture and work-life balance. Discover the thing about your job that you value most at this point in time and focus on that as a priority.

2 Plan your whole day, not just work time
In her article for Forbes, Ceniza-Levine suggests taking a holistic approach to planning your day. Rather than only scheduling your time at work, come up with an action plan for the entire day. This keeps you from focusing too much on work or home independently.

3 Learn about your options
It’s possible that your company has options in place to help employees improve their work-life balance. Research your firm’s policies and benefits – such as paid training, volunteer opportunities and flexible working arrangements – to learn how you can take advantage of them.

4 Don’t assume help isn’t available
The worst thing you can do for yourself if you feel your work-life balance isn’t great is to assume there’s no help in sight. This goes back to researching your company policies. Never take for granted the power of reaching out for a helping hand; you may find one in the least likely places.

5 Set boundaries
Executives work really hard and sometimes they expect their PA to be available when they need them, even if that means answering a phone call at 10pm. If that’s unsustainable for you, stand up and set clear boundaries for what you will and will not do for your boss. Don’t be afraid to say: “I’m sorry, but I have children so I cannot take calls and answer emails after work hours.” There’s a chance they haven’t realised how much this is affecting you and will be thankful you’ve brought it up and set guidelines for them.

6 Look at ways of improving your environment
Your values won’t always match up with company culture, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave. Look at ways to change your environment to bring it more in line with your objectives, such as starting a networking group for support, making a point of taking your full lunch break, or looking for a lateral career move in another department. If push comes to shove, focus your job search on roles that offer similar pay.

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