Career Advice, Watercooler

Words from the Wise: Baby Boomers On Managing Work-Life Balance

Millennials in the workplace often have trouble balancing their work and personal lives, an issue people of any age can experience in any job. “We take better care of our smart phones than we do ourselves,” said Arianna Huffington while speaking at the Glassdoor Summit. “We need to reclaim our humanity; we need to put technology in its place.”

When it comes to excelling in these two parts of your life, we spoke with employees from the Baby Boomer generation to get insight on how they think Gen X, Y, and Z (those born after 1995) can achieve better work-life balance.

1. Take time for yourself.

“The important thing to remember in finding a work-life balance is taking time to rest and relax. People tend to over schedule themselves and are busy, busy, busy! Those people then hope they will find time to relax, but you do not find time, you have to take time for what is important.” –Jim Naegeli, retired teacher

2. Be responsible for yourself.

“I think millennials just need to remember where they came from and appreciate their blessings. Find your passion and be true to yourself.  No one is responsible for you, but you.” –Lisa Wallis Smith, business owner

[Related: What is “Work-Life Fit”? And Is Balance A Thing of the Past?]

3. Take a break from technology.

“I would say that, first and foremost, you have to get away from technology for some time each day. Detox yourself and be dedicated to the job at hand. You have to love what you’re doing and maybe have a glass of wine every now and then. Some days I’ll get up before I go to work and run 3 miles, come home and play Frank Sinatra on my console stereo while showering and getting dressed for the day. It’s a matter of finding time for those personal things you enjoy. Oh, and don’t forget to always have a sense of humor if you want to capture a good balance between your work and personal life.” –George Hudnall, teacher

4. Find joy in work and life activities.

“Balance means exactly that, and ‘work’ and ‘life’ are not normally mutually compatible. So to bring about balance, effort must be applied in order to continuously steer in the right direction. Life should and ought to be enjoyable, so to bring about balance work must also be so. In my case, I have never considered work to be work, but only a place where every day brings new objectives to overcome. You want your life to remain as an adventure. Work and life satisfaction are measured by results and relationships–not material items or wealth. Therefore, to enjoy life, ensure you follow a direction that leads to satisfaction in your work, then you will have achieved balance.” –John R. Hayden, project manager

[Related: Search For A Job You’ll Love]

5. Don’t be afraid to give something up.

“Finding a work-life balance can be extremely difficult. Something always has to give – and sometimes it’s very difficult to decide what to give up to allow yourself to continue to juggle the relationships in your life. Even if you don’t give something up along the way, realize that you may need to renegotiate with yourself as to what is considered ‘acceptable’ so that you don’t end up with a nervous breakdown trying to ‘have it all.’ Creating a work-life balance for me was to give up work (or at least formal work with a paycheck involved) and focus on family. Unfortunately, I was in an ‘all or nothing’ position with work. If I had an opportunity at that time to change to a part-time job, I know I would have tried to make that work first. I guess my advice for anyone is to choose a career from the beginning that will allow you flexibility down the road!” Gayle Dalawrak Joseph, retired Air Force

6. Be independent.

“Develop a good work ethic while you’re young because being independent is a good feeling. Stay positive and avoid negative people because they will only make you feel tired. Develop a passion about something you love to do, such as reading, listening to music, playing an instrument or gardening. By developing a hobby you are passionate about you won’t feel lonely and will learn to find something you can do for your ‘me’ time.” –Mary Francis Walker Furlow, retired human services agent

DISCOVER: Are You Being Paid Enough To Sacrifice Your Work-Life Balance?