The Importance of Balance between Work and your Social Life

Various experts worldwide have resoundingly agreed that it is important to maintain a balance between your work life and your social life. For many college graduates and millennials entering the workforce, they tend to make the mistake of overworking themselves beyond the societal norm. While it is great to assume that  ‘go-getter, first to enter last to leave’ mentality, it is imperative for you to understand the dangers that come with this level of work. Now I am not saying that you should not work hard. Investing in your job and your company is incredibly beneficial in shaping your overall career and professional development. But to overdo this can lead to physical and emotional damages.

One of the more popular negative damages many companies and hiring managers are seeing, especially amongst millennials, is the high burn out rate amongst employees. At any job, the position and responsibilities will always be new. Unlike college where you have various breaks in between classes and clubs, corporate, private, and startup culture will always demand more from you. Those senses of responsibilities can eventually lead to self-doubt and stress. But as much as I can fluff around the responsibilities and objective of the workplace, I have to be realistic. Work will always be stressful. There will be times where you will be overwhelmed to a point where you are unable to concentrate at the task at hand. To prevent this from becoming a problem, you need to, of course, gain the much-needed confidence at the office so that you can perform at your best. While some people think this requires more work, this confidence can actually come about through just a simple work-life balance.

Now, finding a healthy balance between your work and your social life is not always easy. There will be days where you will be required to stay late at the office or you will be asked to work weekends answering emails. While those days will come, it is important for you to create and establish a strong and healthy balance between your work and social life. To do this, begin by organizing your calendar. Organization will always be key to this level of balance. Make sure you fill out your schedule in its entirety. This will help you iron out any logistics and provide a stronger sense of open slots and times where you can use for yourself.

As for your social life, keep this one simple idea in mind: stay active. For many millennials, they burn out from work because their life schedule becomes clockwork where it looks something like this:

 

  • Work => Drive home => Watch television => Sleep => Work again

For anyone, this type of lifestyle is simply not sustainable. To prevent you from diving into that cycle, try to join various extracurricular activity groups. Think of any hobbies or interest groups that you enjoy and try and find various meet ups through Google or word of mouth. In addition, look into joining a gym or any extracurricular sports club. The more socially active you are the better. Lastly, to truly ease your mind and refresh your batteries, try planning a weekend or week trip. This will help ease your mind and prevent you from over-stressing about the workplace.

Creating Professional Goals

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When it comes to success, having a strong underlying intrinsic goal will always help cultivate and shape your decisions, your actions, and your thought process each and everyday. But what happens when you have already made significant advances within your career? What goals or objective can you create to help motivate yourself in establishing that consistency that you have worked so hard for all throughout your life? For a few very fortunate people, the answer simply comes to them. But for the rest of us who do not wake up with that goal in place, it takes a little bit of planning in order to clarify and execute for our career goals.

No matter where you are in your career, there should always be a vision and goal within your master plans. As much as we can frivolous live our lives day by day without a care in the world, the reality of it requires these guiding and awe-inspiring ideas to push us to be our best. That is why career goals are important. They are simply the things you want to achieve in your career and the person you are meant to be. While these objectives can be broad, and at times uncertain, they, at the end of the day, provide you with that much-needed direction to the end goals of your career. Think of this like a road map. Rather than wander around aimlessly within your life, your career goals can be your destination for your success.

Now, one thing to point out is the various differences within goals. At one ends we have the broad, ambitious, and overarching goals, which are commonly referred to as conceptual or long-term goals. And on the other end we have the more specific day-by-day task related goals, generally known as operational and short-term objectives. As much as you can have one over the other, it is imperative that you have both. Begin with your long-term goal. This can be something you are looking to accomplish a year (five years, ten years) from now. From that goal alone, you will be able to conceptualize various operational tasks that you will need to accomplish in order for you to reach your long-term goal. For many young professionals, this type of mentality can be beneficial in shaping and molding your career. But what happens if you are already a seasoned veteran within your company? What goals can you establish to motivate yourself each and everyday?

While creating goals as a veteran within your company can oftentimes be challenging, they are, like they were in the beginning of your career, absolutely vital. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to stay stagnate within your job. To prevent this from happening, you need to recreate and articulate a vision statement for your career. The first step is to look back and reflect on all of your success. There is that famous saying: “Sometimes you have to take two-steps back in order to move ten-steps forward.” By having an intrinsic understanding of your career path, you will be able to connect the dots and establish that end goal. Go ask far and question why you made particular jumps and what you want to achieve out of your company.

Now for those who have not reflected, it may seem impractical to start now. Let me tell you, it is never too late to reflect. Reflection, at the end of the day, is the key to learning. This type of thought process will allow you to analyze your experiences and make the necessary changes and modifications to push you to your intended success. For some people, that success is simply getting on the right path. But for others, that long-term goal can require drastic changes and alterations within your life. Whatever is the case, make sure you know what you want. The worst thing you can do to yourself is waste and suffocate your knowledge and talents at a job you distain. Instead, create your goals and most importantly live your dreams.

Young Professionals Looking into Graduate Schools

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For many young professionals, graduate programs such as a Master of Business Administration or a Masters in Finance are seen as viable options in proliferating and diversifying their professional opportunities. While many seasoned professionals may question the two-year hiatus, having these graduate programs as a stepping-stone can oftentimes help you shape and mold your own personal and professional goals. Now before you make your decision, it is imperative that you reflect and internalize these overarching questions below.

Before I begin, I have to note that unlike undergraduate applications, graduate programs like MBAs and Masters in Finance require you to do various preliminary work and research before making the leap into the deep end. In fact, the arduous and elongated process requires a lot of time, dedication, sacrifice, and money before you even reach the finish line of graduation. If you are a young professional who is seriously considering leaving the securities of your already established career, make sure that this is what you want to do. The one situation you do not want to find yourself in is leaving your company without an actual game plan in mind. Now, if you have done your research and feel like now is the time to get one of these degrees, make sure you can ask the following questions:

Why do you want to go to graduate school?

While simple in it’s phrasing, knowing the ‘why’ can be one of the most convoluted answers you will ever respond to during your graduate school application process. In fact, to make sure you are ready to take that leap of faith, you want to solidify strong concrete reasons why graduate school is your best (and only) option. Do not limit yourself to the generic ideas of networking and job opportunities as your explanation. Instead, incorporate your goals and think of various ways of how that specific graduate degree can get you to where you want to be in the future.

What do you want to do with this particular graduate degree?

With an MBA, PhD, or Masters in Finance degree, you have the option to do really anything you want. But before you get those degrees, it is absolutely imperative that you understand what you want to do five, ten, twenty years down the line. To answer this question, go back to your professional goals. Your goals will allow you to create a strong and tangible step-by-step plan that you can implement each and everyday.

What program are you interested in?

There are a variety of graduate school programs that you can go into. While PhD in liberal arts programs can eventually lead to a tenure job at an elite university, you want to make sure your degree can hold a strong amount of value within the workplace. Just think about it. Education is not cheap. Because of this, you want to make sure that your degree can work in your favor. Make sure the program you are interested in is not just something you are passionate about, but also something that is attractive to the job market.

Where do you want to go?

For some people, they go by the name. For others, they go because of the city. Whatever is the case, make sure you are able to consolidate a strong list of schools of where you want to go. While it is nice to have various options, having a list that is oftentimes too large can be incredibly detrimental to your process. Instead limit your list from five to ten schools that adheres to your personal and professional preferences.

Are you financially capable of making this move?

Money, like anything in this world, will always be a factor in whether or not you are able to go to graduate school. Now, depending on your situation, you may be in a position where leaving your job and your financial salary may not be the right decision. You may also very well be in a situation where you do not have the financial funding to make the leap into graduate school. Whatever is the case, make sure you understand the financial cost and financial sacrifice that graduate school is ask from you.

What is one thing that can prevent you from going?

This is an incredible question that not many applicants ask themselves. At times, life can throw you various situations preventing you from reaching your personal and professional goals. If you know there is something that can potentially hold you back from graduate school, make sure you are able to confront it. Otherwise you may find yourself at a dead-end situation.