Exploring the personal history behind work-life balance choices, one story at a time.
I’ve set out to use this blog to feature “work-life balance profiles” of people from across the working spectrum. Individually these stories may not be remarkable – I am not setting out to interview the most celebrated or accomplished people in the world (though many surely will have done outstanding things throughout their lives). But my aim is to showcase and celebrate the variety of work-life balance ratios by giving voice to, and seeking to understand, individuals’ motivations.
The concept of work-life balance has long been considered obsolete. All the more so in our post-Covid world, where work and home lives are more blended than ever. New models have been suggested to update the term. But I haven’t yet found a convincing alternative to capture the distinction between the time people spend doingContinue reading “Work-Life Balance Profiles: An Introduction”
Work-Life Balance Profile #13: Marika* *The names and some details have been changed for confidentiality purposes Work:Life Ratio Chapter 10:100 (after second child)I’m a professional, get me out of here…! “Having a baby has been the best thing that has happened to me this year”, said Marika, smiling a tired smile, as her 7 monthContinue reading “Marika’s Story – The Pursuit of Balance Before, During & After Maternity Leave”
Work-Life Balance Profile #12 Introduction to Jhilmil’s ‘Work-Life Balance Profile’ Jhilmil was concerned that she would come across as “shallow” by saying how caught up her identity is in her work. On the contrary, I think that what she expressed is far from shallow, but rather a deep-rooted, universal feeling. Through my blogging, I’ve oftenContinue reading “Jhilmil’s Story – “My Work, My Identity”: on competitiveness, co-parenting & surviving job loss”
Work-Life Balance Profile #11: John Adams Introduction to John’s ‘Work-Life Balance Profile’I interviewed John, the award-winning creator of Dad Blog UK, late one evening in January 2021. We had just entered our third Coronavirus lockdown in the UK, and both of us were adapting (again) to managing home-schooling children while working from home. This wasContinue reading “John’s Story – It’s a Dad’s World: on fatherhood, male primary care-giving & gender equality”
Ali’s Story – Artistic License: When ‘work’ is life, and ‘life’ is work – Dyslexia and the Trappings of Domesticity
Work-Life Balance Profile #10: Ali Miller Work vs Life: Who Wins? I begin each “Work-Life Balance Profile” interview by asking my interviewee to put a self-perceived figure on their current work:life ratio and whether they aspire for it to be any different. Of course, quantifying something this multi-faceted isn’t a science. But it’s a goodContinue reading “Ali’s Story – Artistic License: When ‘work’ is life, and ‘life’ is work – Dyslexia and the Trappings of Domesticity”
Work-Life Balance Profile #9: Susan* Work : Life Ratio 40:60 (Pre-Covid)10:90 (During Covid) *The names and some details have been changed for confidentiality purposes On an average day, Susan wakes up around 5.00am to fit a couple of hours of work in before her children wake up and need preparing for school. The school runContinue reading “Susan’s Story – Climbing High: on Single Motherhood and Social Mobility”
Matthew’s Story: The Work-Life Balance Logic of a Full-Time NHS Key Worker – It’s a Science, not an Art
Work-Life Balance Profile 8 – Matthew* This has been the year for recognising the value of healthcare workers. As we ride the wave of a global pandemic, the world’s population is leaning on their skills and services like never before. I interviewed Matthew, an NHS key worker, some months ago and my write-up has satContinue reading “Matthew’s Story: The Work-Life Balance Logic of a Full-Time NHS Key Worker – It’s a Science, not an Art”
Soli’s Story – “Sunny-Side Up, Please”: Self-Care for Caring Professionals, Finding Balance in Mid-Life & Staying Positive When the Course of Motherhood Doesn’t Run Smooth
Work-Life Balance Profile #7 – Soli Lazarus Work:Life Ratio 52:48 Sugar and spice and all things nice I had hoped to interview Soli in person but, due to lockdown 2.0 restrictions, we had to make do with a Zoom call. Nevertheless, the technology that stood between us did not dull the energy and charisma thatContinue reading “Soli’s Story – “Sunny-Side Up, Please”: Self-Care for Caring Professionals, Finding Balance in Mid-Life & Staying Positive When the Course of Motherhood Doesn’t Run Smooth”
Sam’s Story – Fighting the Good Fight: Part-Time Working Fatherhood, Paternal Working Rights, and Living with Cancer
Work-Life Balance Profile #6 – Sam Franklin Work:Life Ratio 50:50 The power of privilege To say that my interview with Sam changed my life would be a step too far. But shortly after we met, I started a new job and, credit where it’s due, gleaning insight to Sam’s approach to work left me feelingContinue reading “Sam’s Story – Fighting the Good Fight: Part-Time Working Fatherhood, Paternal Working Rights, and Living with Cancer”
Work-Life Balance Profile #5 – Sarah Macmull Caitlin Moran paints a brilliant portrait of the “many lives” of the working mother, where “the wife, the employee, the mother and the housekeeper all take it in shifts”. The “niggle”, she points out, “is that they all happen at once”. This came to mind when I wasContinue reading “Sarah’s Story – Motherhood and the Mental Load: marriage, self-employment and primary care-giving”
Work-Life Balance Profile #4 – Tahmid Chowdhury It seems serendipitous that my latest Work-Life Balance Profile should be ready for posting today, at the tail end of National Inclusion Week 2020. In it, Tahmid Chowdhury touches on how coming from an ethnic minority background has influenced his work/life choices. He also talks openly about hisContinue reading “Tahmid’s Story – Ethnic minority beginnings, burnout and career change”
Work-Life Balance Profile #3 – Marsha* Work : Life Ratio 0 : 100 *The names and some details have been changed for confidentiality purposes It’s got to be perfect From the way that Marsha describes herself as a school girl, I can imagine an immaculately dressed child, with neat hair and a straight back, sittingContinue reading “Marsha’s Story – From high-flying professional to stay-at-home-mum”
Work-Life Balance Profile #2 – Sheara Abrahams Why is it that when discussing careers with full-time working mothers, invariably the conversation turns to childcare arrangements and relationship dynamics? Is it just me or are these topics slower to come up in similar conversations with full-time working men? My impression is that however much progress hasContinue reading “Sheara’s Story – Behind the Movie Scenes: A Tale of Full-Time Working Motherhood”
Understanding the roots of individual work values can help make sense of work-life balance choices, encouraging self-reflection, acceptance and compassion – towards oneself and others. To this end, I’ve set out to use this blog to feature a series of “work-life balance profiles“, exploring the personal history behind work-life balance choices, one story at aContinue reading “Darren’s Story – Confessions of a Workaholic”
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