Striving for “Work-Life Balance” is Trying to Solve the Wrong Problem
I recently published a job posting for a Strategist out of our Tucson office and was humbled by the positive responses and quality applicants we got within a day of sharing it on social media.
One paragraph, in particular, I chose to highlight:
We believe the concept of work-life balance is a misnomer. Work is such a significant part of one’s life that creating a wall should never be the goal. We want the people you work with, the spaces you work within, and the clients you serve to be meaningful and fulfilling to you. This is an ongoing dialogue we have as a team in the choices of projects we take on and the direction we move as an organization.
This is the root of why we have a great culture full of talented people who take pride in their work and care for one another.
It starts with defining your values as a group, then only hiring people who align with those values. Strong teams should be built with diverse people and different perspectives, but those underlying values must be rock solid.
We find when we hire people that don’t work out (and we usually know very quickly when they don’t), it’s often because they didn’t share our values like we thought they would. Over time we have evolved our hiring practices with the idea that skills can be taught but values must be brought.
And here’s the neat thing about this: when your personal values align with your work values, then work becomes an enriching part of your life rather than an undesired but necessary escape from it. Instead of trying to balance work with life, you use work to help achieve your higher purpose and bring life more meaning.
At that point, the idea of needing to balance them becomes absurd because they are on the same side of the scale.