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Maybe I should just get a simpler job to find balance

Sarah is a very talented and driven academic and is also recognized as such by her peers and her supervisors. She publishes well, is innovative, shows management skills and also grabs her chances to be a visiting scholar abroad. And she comes to me for coaching because she struggles with her work-life balance.

When talking about her academic work, she sparkles and speaks with fire. She shares what she believes she can contribute to the field and to society with her research. Sarah tells me how her drive to make a difference with her work is also linked to personal experiences. She gets emotional when she talks about this, clearly her heart is in this. She is deeply motivated to make a difference with her academic work .

Then she starts talking about how imbalanced she feels….Immediately the sparkles in her eyes and face are gone and are replaced by sadness and tension. She feels she has not enough time, not enough sleep, not enough energy to do it all. She talks about the guilt she feels of continuing to think about work when she is home with her loved ones.  But she can’t stop thinking about work, because there is just so much to do. She also talks about how she so often snaps at her children and her husband, the people she loves so much. How she feels guilty because she is not being the mother, partner, friend she longs to be.

In tears she shares “sometimes I think I should just get a simpler job to find more balance”

Sarah’s deep fear is she might have to give up her drive and ambition as an academic to be able to feel more balanced.

Do you recognize (parts of) this story? You probably do. Sarah is not just one client. Sarah is comprised of multiple driven academics I have met and coached. Many academics think they need to give up their ambitions in order to feel balanced.

Let me state this very clearly here:

 Giving up on your ambitions will not make you feel more balanced!

On the contrary.  Giving up on your ambitions will cause a feeling of imbalance in the long run. Let me me explain this with an example. I once found myself a job that I thought would bring me more balance than my very demanding job as a consultant at the time.  A well paid job that was closer to home. A far less demanding 9-5 job. And indeed it gave me more time to sport, to see friends and family, spend more time with my loved ones and it gave me more energy. In the beginning I was really happy with this. But quickly this changed, because I had too little to do which caused the hours at work to drag on. I was bored and not challenged enough. Causing me to quickly lose my energy again. I felt I wasn’t making enough of a contribution, not really making use of my talents. Which rapidly diminished my joy and energy and caused me to feel imbalanced. I left this job after 6 months, to find myself a more demanding job.

If you relinquish your ambition, your desires and dreams about what you want to contribute in your life, you will still feel imbalanced. Because this move will take you further away from what suits you, the contribution you want to make to this world.  Work-life balance is not about how many hours you spend at home or at work. It is not about giving up on your ambitions.

Finding balance is about a combination of three things:

- vitality in your body and mind

- building and nurturing meaningful relationships in your life

- making your unique contribution in this world. Expressing and bringing your unique talents to this world.

And if one of these three things is lacking or neglected- you will feel imbalanced. So giving up on your ambition is not the solution to feel more balanced.

Work Life Balance in Academia Programme (starts 22 March 2019)
For all those driven academics who struggle with finding balance I have developed Work-Life Balance in Academia. Work-life Balance in Academia is a powerful programme that combines individual coaching, online training, live training and peer group support. Work-Life Balance in Academia will give you the insights and practical tools to make the contribution you want to make in your work and private life, while staying balanced along the way.  And the best part? The programme is designed in such a way that it really is easy to make it work, even with an extremely busy schedule like yours! To find out more about the programme and how to reserve your spot on the programme:  go to .  I have a maximum of 10 spots available.

Would you like to explore whether the Work-Life Balance in Academia programme is a fit for you? Do you want to talk to me to see whether I would be the right coach for you? Do you have a burning question about work-life balance? Just hit reply and send me your phone number. I’ll happily schedule a call with you to explore this at no cost together.

Do you want to get to know me a bit better and see how I work? Then I also have a free online workshop coming up in the first week of March.

Free online workshop: Keys to finding more balance in academia
March 13 and March 16 2019
In the second week of March I will offer a free online workshop: Keys to finding more balance in academia.  I will debunk more myths about what it takes to feel balanced and I’ll offer crucial keys to finding more balance. You will leave this workshop with new insights and a practical action you can take to find more balance in your life.

I will offer this workshop two times: in the evening on March 13 and in the morning on March 16.

Subscribe to my inspiration mail now so you will be the first to know how you can reserve your spot for this free online workshop.

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