Professional life is an integral part of life. After a certain age, human beings become engaged with professional activities, not only for financial income but also for making one’s own family, improving one’s worth in society and many other reasons. But it is also important to make a balance among professional, personal, family and social life. Of course, there are enormous benefits of maintaining a good balance among them. A good balance maintains good mental health through reducing stress, maintains good physical health and wellbeing, improves relationships, increases engagement in works or helps one becomes professionally successful, increases the ability of creative thinking, makes one more productive and brings higher levels of success in life.
But the fact is that some people are engaged with more time-consuming professions, while others with less time-consuming professions. But, undeniably, a considerable amount of time is given to professional works in many professions including government jobs, private jobs, business and others. Of course, many people can make a balance among professional, personal, family and social life, while many others cannot. Indeed, some people are more engaged with professional works and less engaged with other aspects, some provide less time on professional works and more time on others, some provide needed time on two or three of such aspects but not on all aspects, and some can provide needed time on all such aspects of life. But these are not the reality among people of a single country, these varyingly happen across countries.
Of course, a lack of balance among them results in many negative impacts on persons, works, and families. Some notable negative impacts are increased family quarrels, the separation between couples, unnecessary competition among couples, negative effects on the development of children, social disconnectedness or a lack of healthy social relations. The lack of a balance can cause burnout, which is a syndrome that includes emotional exhaustion, poor health, depersonalization of relationships, impaired job performance and a reduced sense of accomplishment. But the ultimate consequence is that many people are not happy in their lives. Of course, human beings may not be happy for many reasons but a lack of balance among professional, personal, family and social life is an important reason for unhappiness among many across countries.
But, undeniably, there are many reasons for an imbalance among professional, personal, family and social life. Diverse reasons can be rendered from several viewpoints such as profession-based, family conditions-based and inability to cope up. Of course, profession-based reasons play very important roles for a lack of balance or inadequate balance. Long work hours, which are a reality for many, play an important role in imbalance. Some professions demand more time on works and provide fewer opportunities for personal, family or social life, while others provide less time on works and more opportunities for personal, family and social life. For example, banking sector jobs require more amount of time in many countries, while it is usually less in the teaching profession. But, of course, there are differences across countries regarding working hours.
Moreover, there are some other profession-based reasons such as the amount of salary, job satisfaction, the type of works, poor working conditions, pressurized working environment and some others can be enormously responsible for an imbalance among professional, personal, family and social life. The amount of salary, which varies across professions and countries, affects one’s financial ability and behavior to a greater extent. In fact, salaries that cannot support the desired living standard – or salaries that have not increased much even if the expenses have increased – can lead to dissatisfaction and create troubles in making the desired balance among professional, personal, family and social life among many persons, even if some may make an adjustment.
Of course, family conditions play very important roles in making the desired balance among professional, personal, family and social life. Some notable family conditions-based reasons are non-cooperation among family members and/or typical families, education of parents and parents-in-law, the number of jobholders in the family, history of violence among parents or parents-in-law, demands for excessive work from families, education of couples, family norms and values and some others. Non-cooperation from family members especially from partners sometimes leads to not only an imbalance among professional, personal, family and social life but also frequent quarrels. In such a case, family life turns to be a hellish one for many. On some occasions, a lack o non-cooperation between partners leads to divorce – the separation of their relations.
Inability to cope up with diverse aspects of life is an important reason for imbalance. Developing ability is a very difficult task for many. In fact, a considerable portion does not have such an inability. One’s inability to cope may be because of several personal and other reasons including a lack of understanding of the coping mechanism, attitude toward life as a whole, a lack of understanding of responsibilities, genetic and/or mental problems, difficulty based on very different professions of couples, and personal desires that demand more time on one’s related activities. Of the diverse reasons, the professions of couples that are very much different or very unmatched can play significant roles in maladjustment in professional, personal, family and social life because significant professional differences lead to the development of very different sorts of characteristics or behaviors that can further lead to increased quarrels and divorce.
Undeniably, every life consists of different aspects. To increase the chance of making a good balance among professional, personal and other aspects of life, diverse professions-based challenges need to be well addressed. In this respect, employment policies need to be such that which provide employees enough time to personal, family and social life and the amount of salary needed for standard living. Even if weekly work hours are mostly 35-39 hours in many countries, there are significant differences across professions and countries. Also, to make a good balance between professional and other aspects of life, some other measures such as time-based balance that indicates deserved time being given to both work and family roles, involvement imbalance that refers to the desired levels of psychological involvement in both work and family roles and satisfaction balance which refers to deserved levels of satisfaction in both work and family roles are very important.
Not less important is that persons themselves need to play greater roles for making a good balance. Of course, it is the persons who can increase the chance of a good balance between professions and other aspects of life. Many people can make a good balance, even if there are heavy workloads and some other reasons for an imbalance. Thus, a broad understanding of life and one’s increased ability that can make a significant difference is also very important, though everything is not in one’s hands. Without such understanding, one may not put deserved emphasis on all aspects of life.
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.