Balancing Career and Family

I’m a working mom. I’m also the main breadwinner of the family, so I’ve always had to balance my career with my family. That is hard enough at the best of times, but it’s even harder when you have endometriosis. Endometriosis has definitely negatively impacted my career, but that’s a story for another time. Right now I want to talk about balancing your career with a family (and endometriosis).

Quality over quantity

I know it’s hard to find a good work-life balance. The corporate world is hard and driven and long hours tend to be the norm. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Especially when you suffer from endometriosis, it’s important to have enough rest as endo exhaustion is real and brutal. Flare-ups are also worse when you’re tired and stressed, so it’s in everyone’s interest that you find that balance.

A good work ethic doesn’t mean being at the office for long hours. Focus on quality over quantity. Plan your day carefully so you can make the most of your energy levels. Most companies do seem to shame you when you leave earlier than anyone else, but I’ve found that if the quality of your work is consistently good, the bosses/managers suddenly don’t seem to mind you work your contracted hours.

Find efficiencies

A lot of time at work is wasted on things that are not necessarily important. Try to find efficiencies where you can. Your focus during the day should be on making your job as easy as possible. That’s not to say you should be lazy, on the contrary. Finding efficiencies can be hard work, but it’s work that will pay off in the long run. Again, don’t worry about perception. When I first started my new job, my colleagues didn’t appreciate me pointing out how much time could be saved, but I can get my work done quicker with just as much result.

Set boundaries

Despite what some bosses will want you to believe, we’re not married to our jobs. Your contract will state the amount of hours you need to work. Set boundaries and make sure that when you go home, you leave the work at work. Your time and energy is precious, especially when you’re suffering from endometriosis. You never now when the next flare up is going to be, or when you’ll be floored with exhaustion, but if you plan, set boundaries and focus on the quality of your work, you’ll be a lot better off.

Take it easy

As I said at the beginning, endometriosis has had an impact on my career. I may not have risen in my career as fast as some of my contemporaries have. But that doesn’t mean I’m not successful. Taking a bit of a slower path to your career goal may benefit you in the end. After all, you’re not going to go anywhere if you’re burnt out because you never found that balance between work and family. So take it easy, take care of yourself and set your own pace. You’ll get there in the end!

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