Some of the jobs I have held over the years have been downright awful. I remember working one summer during college at a factory that manufactured those hard-shelled briefcases (like the ones James Bond would carry). Every day I woke up early, drove downtown, did 8 hours of manual labor at minimum wage, bought my lunch from a dirty taco truck, and listened to my supervisor try to fit as many vulgar terms for female body parts into one sentence as he could — and he was proficient, let me tell you.
Menial jobs like that one suffocated me because I never felt a passion for hauling briefcase parts from one part of the factory to another for weeks on end. I wanted a job I loved — one that I was passionate about. Oddly enough, I have learned that having a job I love can be even more draining than any of the jobs I hated.
I love the work I do now, I really do. It gives me a chance to be creative, to learn new things, and to meet new people. I was just hired on at my company full time on April 1st. Before that, for the past two and a half years, I worked from home as a freelance designer and video editor. It was nice being home all the time, but the inconsistent stream of work was making it hard to make a living.
Now, I’m in an office — and I’m here a lot (3:00 am as I write this). The work I do is fun. So fun that I lose track of how much time has gone by while I’m working. The work is also time consuming with a lot of imminent deadlines, which sometimes require me to put in some long days. None of this would be a problem except for the fact that I have a wife and son (and a daughter on the way) at home. When I work long hours, I don’t get to see them.
I’m not complaining, I’m just trying to mindful of maintaining a proper balance in my life. I love my job and I’m good at it; But I also love my family, and have a commitment to being there for them as well.
If you’ve been or currently are in this situation, I’d love to hear any tips for how you manage the balance between work and family. How have you been able to stay dedicated to your job and not neglect the ones you love the most? I want to do the best I can for my employer and for my family. How do I do both?