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#Upcycle Your Job

The Smart Way to Balance Family Life and Career

By Anna Meller
13-minute read
Audio available
#Upcycle Your Job by Anna Meller

#Upcycle Your Job (2019) presents a six-step approach to finding the perfect work-life balance. Although geared toward working mothers, this method can be used by anyone looking to get more out of life without making career sacrifices in the process.

  • Working parents looking to rearrange their work-life balance
  • Employers seeking to optimize workplace efficiency and output
  • Professional women striving to maximize their career prospects

Anna Meller is a British work-life balance coach and consultant. With a background in occupational psychology, Meller has spent the past 25 years helping professional women rebalance their corporate careers. Meller holds a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior and is a Fellow at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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#Upcycle Your Job

The Smart Way to Balance Family Life and Career

By Anna Meller
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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#Upcycle Your Job by Anna Meller
Synopsis

#Upcycle Your Job (2019) presents a six-step approach to finding the perfect work-life balance. Although geared toward working mothers, this method can be used by anyone looking to get more out of life without making career sacrifices in the process.

Key idea 1 of 8

It’s up to you to manage your work-life balance.

These days, there’s no easy escape from work. If you’re reading this, then you have access to a smartphone or a computer – and that means you’re available. What’s more, your employer knows that you’re available. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, you can be called, emailed, or pinged. 

It’s an understatement to say the line between professional life and personal life has been blurred. For many workers, it’s been erased entirely.

In this environment, the ideal worker thrives. Usually men, these workers have the flexibility to prioritize their job above all else. But what about the rest of us? What about the people, especially mothers, who certainly care about work but have other priorities, too?

The key message here is: It’s up to you to manage your work-life balance.

Corporate culture makes life especially difficult for women. For starters, most women actually work two jobs: the nine-to-five for which they get paid, and a hidden “second shift” – all the unpaid housework that typically falls to them. For working mothers, it’s even more difficult. They often have to choose between professional ambition and parental obligation. Faced with such a choice, it’s tempting to heave a mighty sigh and take a career break – which usually means a cut in lifetime earnings. 

So what about working part-time? Well, for many women, part-time ends up being the same workload crammed into fewer hours. A UK study done by Professor Clare Kelliher and Dr. Deirdre Anderson found that employees who opted for flexible hours actually experienced higher workloads. And while companies may be eager to implement work-life flexibility, there’s often insufficient guidance on how to do one’s work in less time. 

Luckily, the traditional corporate paradigm is shifting. Employers are finally starting to admit that the old ways don’t work so well. But that doesn’t mean they’ll figure out your needs for you. To take advantage of this shift, you’ll need clarity about what you want to achieve, commitment to your vision, and courage to ask for what you need.

Expect to feel vulnerable as you step outside your comfort zone. But remember: by asking for the professional resources you need, you’re acting as a role model for generations of women to come. 

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