Fanning the flame

work life balance

Hello again, loverly readers! It’s quite convenient how Lydia and I seem to take turns being inspired, regular posters..completely unplanned, I assure you, but it’s nice to know that while I was over here being a combination of busy, unmotivated and just plain exhausted, you had plenty of witty anecdotes at your fingertips.

Don’t get too excited, I’m still busy, unmotivated and exhausted, but I felt I should share a little bit of where I’ve been (mentally) lately…at work.

Once while on our way to a client meeting, my boss talked to me about how to avoid getting burned out and shared a story about a time she realized she was. At the time, I was firmly in the denial phase about my stress load, so I mentally filed her guidance under “Truly helpful for the distant future” and stacked “Reasons I’m completely fine” on top despite my overwhelming to do list, weekly chest tightening spasms and most-likely-related health issues/sudden onset of allergies.

See, I’ve always been super self-motivated – working hard, getting (over) involved and looking for leadership positions are activities I actually do enjoy just for me, not for a resume or to fulfill someone else’s idea of ‘success’. But I’m realizing what helped all those commitments and responsibilities seem more manageable was the fact that they all had a definitive end date: assignment deadline, event date, summer, graduation…the exhausting thing about ‘real life’ work (and life) commitments and responsibilities is the recent revelation that there really is no set end date. I will one day hopefully, finally complete fall planning only to realize I’m already woefully behind on 2014’s marketing strategy.

I’ve read this relearning of stress management is normal for us young professionals. In the grand scheme of things, we’re still relatively new at navigating this whole career, work-life balance thing. We’re figuring out what we’re good at and where we fit in the working world, whether that is finding a career path, company or something to pay the monthly car payment.

Sometimes I toy with the idea of taking off for world travels/volunteering or even just up and moving somewhere new…but I can’t help but value my career, job security and financial stability a little bit more when I reach the “Complete Purchase” button on my itinerary. Even though it looks like I won’t be taking off for a foreign country for an extended amount of time or having a spare day until mid-September to even think about taking a vacation, I clearly need to find some way to dial-back a notch in my day-to-day.

A Huffington Post article shared tips from thought leaders for maximizing your twenties, including this one: “Burnout is not a badge of honor. Don’t try to do it all, focus on the 5% you’re great at and delegate the rest!”

So this week I’m embracing delegation along with some old-fashioned hard work in the hopes that my typed, two-page to do list (unfortunately not a exaggeration) can make its way down to a much more manageable one.

…In the meantime, you can also find me surfing ZapTravel.com in the hopes of landing an affordable getaway.

A job or ‘the’ job?

ashley olsen work styleworking desk and coffeeworking women style  

This is a kinda a big week for me professionally, so I’ve spent a lot of time pinpointing work-related hopes and frustrations lately. While attempting to do so I stumbled across a Forbes article. Titled “Why we need to take 20-somethings seriously,” I was initially excited to find another semi-rare article listing the pros we could offer the work world rather than the cons. So imagine my surprise when I clicked through to read how 20-somethings are supposedly falling behind in the career world because we’re falling prey to the idea that now is our time of life for exploration and experimenting.

From the article: “The biggest myth is that the 20s are a time to think about what you want to do,” notes Jay. “That doesn’t work. You basically know what you want. Just start, and get the best job you can get.”

Between this and the suggested article, “How I Became a 21-Year-Old Business Executive,” all I have to say is, thanks for helping lower my already increasing stress levels, Forbes. On the bright side, at least these articles are saying we can and should have a place professionally rather than make our age out to be a hindrance, which is what I sometimes feel.

Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me or a product from our culture, but part of what stresses me out is I can’t get away from the idea that there’s a perfect job for me somewhere…if only I could somehow find it. The thing is, I’m quite happy where I am. But there’s always a part of me wondering, but could I be happier?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any real solutions for anyone else in the same boat. While I’ll be acknowledging these “grass is always greener” scenarios with some research and deep-thinking, I’ve decided I also need to devote less of my thought life to these ambitions and more time being the best I can right here.

So there you have it…my weekly (and probably lifelong) professional goal for finding Tiffany’s. I’d love to know what you think about the articles, too!