Creating work and life balance and making smart, long term career plans can be challenging. If you’re thinking about making some changes to create more balance in your life and achieve your long term goals, you'd be wise to consider your personal needs and values fist.
Here are a few questions to consider (finding the answers will require some thought) when you're trying to plan for your long term needs and create more balance between work and life:
Are you planning to buy your first home? Do you have loans to repay? Would you like to support a partner in reaching an educational, career or business goal? Does your chosen career provide opportunities for salary increases? What are the top wage earners in your field making?
Ideally, when do you want to retire early? Have you made plans to fund your retirement? How long will you continue to work before you retire? How much money do you need to invest adequately for your future? Do you want to continue to work in some way after you retire? Will you have other sources of income when you’re ready to retire?
Where would you love to live? Would you like to have the freedom to travel? Do you want to ensure you have the time and money to participate in your favorite hobbies?
Do you intend to start or grow your family? Would you like to be a work at home parent? Do you need the time to support aging parents?
Are you hoping to work a straight nine to five shift, or would more flexible hours better suit your needs? What are your expectations in terms of the number of hours you'll work? Ideally, how would your work hours fit with partner's work hours?
What is your time line for achieving your career goals? Are you able to invest time in education, or do you need to make a full time income right away? How do your other personal goals impact your time frame for accomplishing your career goals?
It's a shame to live life entrenched in a job that doesn't fit well with your personal needs or allow you to establish a good life and work balance. Take the time to consider your personal needs and understand how your work will impact positively and negatively on those needs before you make your next career move.