As specialists in creative agency recruitment at iknowho, we get a lot of requests from candidates specifically hoping for their next role to have work life balance. We find that these questions typically come from people who are experiencing an “unbalance” and are understandably “burnt out”.
The cold hard truth is that working in advertising agencies, although having many benefits, is most likely going to be high stress and often long hours, so before reading on you do need to be accepting of that as a reality, that said there are approaches you can take to prevent the “burn out”.
Work life balance, unless you’re a workaholic, people classify as a necessary component to ensure you are able to sustain both your professional and personal life. Although, it shouldn’t just be about sustaining, really, to be successfully managing your work/life balance you should be growing and developing in both areas, not just sustaining. Don’t wait until you reach burn out stage to make a change, use the early warning signs that things might be going off kilter, get to know your limitations so you can restore the balance before it’s too late.
There are a few simple exercises you can use to keep check. Try writing a list of what’s most important to you both professionally and personally, what you need to be sustaining and what goals you want to achieve in both. Ensure they are measurable and realistic then give yourself a timeframe based on your current situation. Give yourself checkpoints, say every month to sit down and review. Make sure you see the warning signs before potential burnouts. A work/life balance review checklist could include:
- Are you investing enough in personal relationships, the people closest to you will be honest about this?
- How is your health, your body will be the first thing to remind you to take a break?
- Are you feeling job satisfaction?
- How are you spending your weekends/time away from work? Are you too tired to move or are you up and about making the most of your personal time?
- How are your finances, are you living to work or working to live?
- What are you looking forward to? Have you got fun activities planned?
- Do you see the next few years as building your career or a time to build your personal life? Everyone has different agendas, get to know yours.
Revisiting a list like this (or something personalised to you) regularly is a great way to check in on your current situation and make minor adjustments as you go to ensure the balance remains. As always life can change at any time but making sure you have the right work/life balance means you are better equipped to handle anything thrown your way!
There are actions you can take if you feel the balance isn’t where you want it to be too;
- Always keep clear communication lines open with your line manager or someone you feel connected to in the business. Chat to them about expectations, work pipeline, and options for your role
- Assess your ways of working and ensure you aren’t doubling up, that you are prioritising properly and that you can chat directly to those who are managing your workload, especially if you have split reporting lines
- Prioritise your day, every day and assess what is causing you the greatest workload or stress
There is also a new movement called work/life integration. This may or may not be appropriate in your role but it is worth considering options. Work life Integration is the ability to be able to work your deliverables around personal activities. Are you able to start a little later to get to the gym but work later to ensure your deadlines are made? Or would it be possible for you to leave earlier to make a class or course you are interested in and log in after to finalise communications and ensure you are up to date for the next day? There is more and more flexibility being built into roles these days and technology allows us to work on the move or remotely.
Though if you are feeling like your current situation may need a change get in touch with me for a confidential chat. For a full list of permanent and freelance agency opportunities visit: www.iknowho.com.au