Laurie Swanson Blog

How to Have Your Career Match the Cadence of Your Life

A friend called me because she was in a dilemma.

Spring break was coming up and she and her family had rented a beach house in North Carolina and were meeting her mom and dad there.

They had the beach house from Saturday to Saturday.

She wanted to take the kids out of school a day early and take an extra day off of work.

She called me to ask if I thought she should do take the extra day.

Feel Like You Need To Ask For Permission?

I asked her to tell me the pros and cons which went something like this:

  • Start driving Thursday night as the kids slept.  Check into a hotel along the way. Very low stress.
  • Check-out of the hotel in the morning and drive until early afternoon when they would stop for the night in some place cool and have fun as a family.
  • Check-out early Saturday morning and do the last few hours of the drive arriving at the perfect check-in time at their beach house, get settled in and let the vacation begin.
  • Feel satisfied that they got their money’s worth and had a quality family time.

  • Taking an extra day off of work would be communicating a “wrong” message. This will keep her from getting promoted and people will see her as a slacker not committed to the success of the team.
  • The kids would have to miss a day of school. So…. they would never catch up on homework and they would miss that essential math fact that will keep them being the next Nobel prize winner
  • Other parents and teachers would be VERY disappointed in her choice. They would remind her that she is delivering the message to her kids that school is not a priority. That means that they will be college drop outs and live on her couch until they are in their 30’s.


Give Yourself Permission

It was evident to me that she had done 1 smart thing in this process…she asked the right person…me.

In some situations, you might want to go to people who are going to play devil’s advocate. She clearly did not need that here.

What she wanted was someone to give her permission to do what she already wanted to do.

What I knew was that I was not supposed to give her permission.

Instead I asked her what was it that she really wanted. When considering the pros and cons of leaving on Thursday night versus leaving on Friday night, how did she feel?

Leaving Thursday felt like walking in a field of daisy's with the sun on her face.

Leaving Friday felt like a huge weight on her shoulders.

She knew what she had to do.

She gave herself permission to match her career with the cadence of her life.

One of the keys to having work/life balance is giving yourself permission to let go of guilt and stop listening to those thoughts and outside voices that are not supportive of something your heart desires.

Remind yourself that:
  • You are a rock star and if your current employer does not recognize this your tribe will support you as you move on.
  • Your kids are going to graduate and go on to lead productive and happy lives
  • Your work team is capable of having you miss 6 days of work and not fall apart

You only have the here and now!

Your kids are only this age once.

Time with your parents is precious.

Businesses have survived much worse then you taking a few days off.

Other people’s ideas about how things should be does not have to decide your life for you

Creating work/life balance is more than working remotely or part-time.

It is about looking at the cadence of your life right now and having your work support that stage and the time you are in so that you do not feel resentful, overworked or filled with regret.

Give yourself permission to go for it! Whatever that IT is. 
No apologies necessary.

Are you ready to create work that matches your life’s cadence? I am happy to help you give yourself permission to do just that! Contact me and let’s get this done! 630/260-7821.

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