Make Shift Happen

When I first began a career in student affairs, my director was a good and fair person, always supporting a life in balance. Work late for a program? Take a few hours of personal time the next day. Spend a weekend away at a conference? Be sure to take a personal day to catch up on things at home. As a supervisor, I have attempted to mirror this courtesy, believing that people, and family and lives, are more important than a 60-hour workweek. There will always be work to done, reports to write, and programs to plan.
The theme of work-life balance remains a popular topic among colleagues as we seek an adequate distribution. Too many friends make 10-12 hour work days a habit while answering the duty phone each weekend. While we advise students to choose a few extracurricular activities on which to focus, we disregard this advice and drive ourselves to exhaustion.
Clare Cady fired off a discussion on the topic, inviting us to shift our thinking.

I am of the school that work-life balance does not exist. There is life. Part of life for many of us includes work, hopefully in a field where we are happy and satisfied. But life is not about work — it is about living.
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2 thoughts on “Make Shift Happen

  1. Debra – I love this. I, too, worked for an amazing supervisor who held some of those same beliefs about balancing out time. I try to mirror the same perspectives in my work as supervisor (though often within a larger departmental / institutional structure of expectations for my staff – which doesn’t always match my personal expectations for them).

    What are your fair work boundaries? What is reasonable and fair when it comes to expectations for checking email and having your phone on?

  2. Reblogged this on Erica K. Thompson and commented:
    I love this. I, too, worked for an amazing supervisor who held some of those same beliefs about balancing out time. I try to mirror the same perspectives in my work as supervisor (though often within a larger departmental / institutional structure of expectations for my staff – which doesn’t always match my personal expectations for them).

    What are your fair work boundaries? What is reasonable and fair when it comes to expectations for checking email and having your phone on?

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