After writing about a few of my recent work-life challenges a couple of weeks ago, I feel inspired to write more about my personal wellness journey. I think it’s important for you to know that I struggle with achieving balance all the time! You aren’t alone. I am a work in progress as is my journey to live the best life I can lead. We all struggle and fail sometimes. And that’s ok!
Finding the Right Fit
My first stop after grad school was at an amazing small consulting firm in the DC area called FMP Consulting. It had the dream company culture! Leadership was incredibly supportive and coworkers were friendly, smart, and easy to work with. Everyone valued life outside of work, personal growth and development was encouraged, and flexibility and autonomy were a way of life! I immediately felt at home and loved my work environment.
As you can tell, I was very spoiled with my first post-grad school job. I don’t think I appreciated the culture as much as I should’ve. Based on everything I learned, I knew in theory that companies can have very different cultures. I was just very new to the work world and hadn’t seen it in practice! When I made my first move to a healthcare company back in California, I realized how different a company culture can be. Some cultures are less supportive with little flexibility. Some are full of politics, hierarchy, and road blocks.
Honestly, ending up in the wrong environment helped me clearly define what the right one is for me. I had a great example at FMP and it helped me shape what I wanted my next employer to look like. (I was lucky enough to find a good culture again!) We talked about the importance of fit and culture before and I learned it first hand with the experience of changing jobs. I quickly learned how much my work environment impacts my wellness and learned to make it a priority in my job search!
Prioritizing My Life
One of the main reasons I left my fabulous role at FMP was to move back to California to be near my family and boyfriend (now fiancé). I was in a phase of my life where I wanted to focus more on my personal life. I had moved across the country for grad school. My focus was solely my education and career at the time. Once I’d finished school and gotten some work experience, I was ready to change that focus a bit.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about work-life balance and how that looks really does change over time or given the situation. Another lesson in my wellness journey! Over my career, my focus has shifted several times between school, work, and personal life. I don’t believe in true balance but I do believe in the right balance at the right time. My journey thus far has taught me to embrace what I need when I need it. Sometimes, you need to focus on work and building up your career. Other times, going above and beyond at work takes a back seat for your personal life. That’s ok! I encourage you to embrace this approach to balance too!
I am now in a new phase in my life and career. I love my job and feel settled and happy in my relationship. But, as you all know, I was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug! Working on side projects, like Workr Beeing, has brought me a new joy in my life. However, it has also brought challenges!
I have always been a person that has struggled with making time for myself. I know it’s important but it’s something I have to consciously work on all the time! Frustratingly, I am more likely to work extra hours than to take time to do something to relax or go to the gym. You might say I have ‘work-a-holic’ tendencies. Over the years, I trained myself to take care of me. However, every time my life shifts, I struggle. I have to re-train myself. For example, when I first started my role at Infor, I had to teach myself to leave the desk (and my house!) when working from home. I also had to make a healthy travel routine so I wasn’t working the entire time on each work trip!
Now, at the start of my entrepreneurial career, I am working harder than ever before! I still absolutely value my full-time job and want to be successful there. At the same time, I am planning a wedding and value my relationship. Plus, I am working on my super fun and exciting side projects! I have had to be better at prioritizing my days and weeks. I need to make sure I make time for everything that needs to be done for work, for Workr Beeing, in my household and my relationship, and, finally, for my personal wellness.
My new balance has not been perfected yet! I am still falling into my usual trap of letting my personal time and goals fall to the bottom of my priority list. Some weeks are better than others. I am using all that we write about here and talk about on the podcast to keep me inspired in focusing on my wellness. I believe it’s important but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle. Everyone has their struggles but what matters is making progress and growing on your journey. I truly believe my journey will constantly change and evolve – as will yours.
One day, I will find a great balance in my new normal. Yet I know life will change again so I will need to adapt again! Hopefully, I will continue to adapt successfully. Now, I’d love to hear from you! What has your wellness journey been like? What do you struggle with? How are you overcoming your challenges and how can we help?