4 Observations of Consultants Who Excel at Work/Life Balance

by Vault Consulting Editors | May 06, 2011

By Kristine Schoonmaker, MyConsultingLife.Com

Work/life balance for consultants is a subject that absolutely fascinates me. It's a big topic of concern for many and often one of the major contributors to waning job satisfaction. Yet, it's also something that many simply accept as an elusive and impractical goal for this profession. While many opt to just suck it up and consider it unreasonable to expect any type of balance, I fiercely disagree. There is far too much at stake not to stand up for it:

•Relationships crumble
•Health deteriorates
•Job satisfaction plummets
•Stress levels soar
•And the list goes on…

I'm certainly not claiming to be perfect at maintaining balance myself. Like most type-A, overachievers, I have to work at it every day. But, I have taken notice of what successful consultants do to achieve it. These masters at balancing their work and personal lives follow 4 basic principles. They:

1.Invest personal time to define what they need to have healthy "balance" or harmony between their personal lives and their work. By knowing what their personal requirements are for health and happiness, they more easily can integrate them into their schedule or routine.
2.Recognize the importance of personal time and the exact benefits they receive from it such as emotional well-being, clarity, stress relief, and greater energy.
3.Directly and clearly communicate boundaries with colleagues and why they are important. For example, "For me, a daily workout in the evenings is critical for me to do my best work so I prefer to leave the office by 6 p.m. each day." Or, "I am training for a marathon in a few months, so I may need to ask for flexibility a couple of days a week for my workouts, but I am open to making up the time in off hours."
4.Help foster a culture around them that values personal time. By acting as role models and showing respect for the personal time and interests of colleagues and clients, they more easily garner reciprocal respect, support and understanding for their personals activities and time.

The requirements, benefits and steps necessary to achieve work life balance or "harmony" are very unique for each individual. What are you NOT doing that you should be, to maintain balance in your professional and personal life and what could that do for you?

Kristine Schoonmaker is The Career & Lifestyle Coach for Consultants and founder of MyConsultingLife.com. Her bi-weekly ezine Accelerate offers practical insider advice and quick tips from a former consulting exec to help YOU take greater control of your career and stay engaged in your personal life from the road. If you’re ready to have it all an amazing career in consulting without giving up the lifestyle, relationships and experiences you want, get your FREE subscription now at www.myconsultinglife.com.

<b>By <a target="_blank" href="http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/blogs/entry-detail/?blog_id=1261&entry_id=12638">Kristine Schoonmaker</a>, MyConsultingLife.Com</b><P>

<em>New consultants: What can you do to make your transition to consulting easy?  On Wednesday, May 11, Kristine Schoonmaker will host a free tele-seminar, in which the former <a href="http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/companies/company-profile/Accenture?companyId=317&amp;search_type=company" target="_blank">Accenture</a> exec dishes on how new consultants can differentiate themselves from the pack.  It's called "3 Questions You Need Answered to Guarantee Your Success the First Year in Consulting", and it's a must-see for anyone who's accepted an offer, worked briefly in the industry, or is just eyeing consulting as a potential career path of the future.  It's at 12 pm on May 11th and yes, it's totally free. </em></p>

<p><strong><a href="http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=177116&amp;AdID=551965" target="_blank">Learn more and sign up here!</a></strong></p>

Work/life balance for consultants is a subject that absolutely fascinates me.  It's a big topic of concern for many and often one of the major contributors to waning job satisfaction. Yet, it's also something that many simply accept as an elusive and impractical goal for this profession.  While many opt to just suck it up and consider it unreasonable to expect any type of balance, I fiercely disagree.  There is far too much at stake not to stand up for it:<P>

·         Relationships crumble<br>

·         Health deteriorates<br>

·         Job satisfaction plummets<br>

·         Stress levels soar<br>

·         And the list goes on…<P>

I'm certainly not claiming to be perfect at maintaining balance myself.  Like most type-A, overachievers, I have to work at it every day. But, I have taken notice of what successful consultants do to achieve it.  These masters at balancing their work and personal lives follow 4 basic principles.  They:<P>

1.       Invest personal time to define what they need to have healthy "balance" or harmony between their personal lives and their work.  By knowing what their personal requirements are for health and happiness, they more easily can integrate them into their schedule or routine.<br>

2.       Recognize the importance of personal time and the exact benefits they receive from it such as emotional well-being, clarity, stress relief, and greater energy.<br>

3.       Directly and clearly communicate boundaries with colleagues and why they are important. For example, "For me, a daily workout in the evenings is critical for me to do my best work so I prefer to leave the office by 6PM each day."  Or, "I am training for a marathon in a few months, so I may need to ask for flexibility a couple of days a week for my workouts, but I am open to making up the time in off hours."<br>

4.       Help foster a culture around them that values personal time.  By acting as role models and showing respect for the personal time and interests of colleagues and clients, they more easily garner reciprocal respect, support and understanding for their personals activities and time.<P>

The requirements, benefits and steps necessary to achieve work life balance or "harmony" are very unique for each individual.  What are you NOT doing that you should be, to maintain balance in your professional and personal life and what could that do for you?<P>

<a href="http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/blogs/entry-detail/?blog_id=1261&amp;entry_id=12638" target="_blank">Kristine Schoonmaker</a></strong> is The Career &amp; Lifestyle Coach for Consultants and founder of MyConsultingLife.com.  Her bi-weekly ezine <em>Accelerate</em> offers practical insider advice and quick tips from a former consulting exec to help YOU take greater control of your career and stay engaged in your personal life from the road.  If you&rsquo;re ready to have it all &ndash; an amazing career in consulting without giving up the lifestyle, relationships and experiences you want, get your FREE subscription now at <a href="http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=177116&amp;AdID=539947" target="_blank">www.myconsultinglife.com</a>.</p><P>

<p><img style="float: left;" src="http://www.vault.com/VCM/articles/LogoTagline_72res.jpg" alt="" width="252" height="55" /></p>

Filed Under: Consulting


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