Is it possible to have a family and a successful career as an assistant? This is a common concern amongst assistants. Once you become an assistant, depending on the type of boss you have, your time is basically no longer yours.
The job is extremely tasking, it is an around the clock job. Assistants must sacrifice a lot and that includes their social life. So, how can one be a great assistant and still have a life?
How to Maintain a Balance between Your Career and Family Life
- Establish Your Work Hours Before You Sign the Contract: Before signing any contract, think about your family if you already have one and how much time you’d like to spend with them. Think about the family you want to have in the nearest future and how much time you want to have for yourself. The next thing to do is tactically inquire about the work hours and negotiate it if it doesn’t work for you. When you have come to an agreement that works for both parties has been agreed on, that’s when you sign the dotted lines.
- Your Job Shouldn’t Manage Your Life: As an assistant, you should effectively manage your boss’ life which is mostly your job and not the other way round. Let your off days be for you and your family, it won’t be easy but practice the habit of not working when you are supposed to be spending time with your family. Bond with your children and spend some quality time with your spouse. Don’t let your family feel you’ve placed your job above them. When something comes up, and you are required to work on your off days, find a way to make it up to your family. Be a parent when you need to be and an assistant when you should be just that.
- Have a to-do List: Prioritizing your schedule will help you manage time effectively. You’ll be able to take care of the important things first so that you can spend more time with your family. If you have a spouse or partner, one of you can be available to take care of the kids when the other is working, but if you are a single parent, hire a nanny or a housekeeper who can watch them when you are away.
- Live Close to Your Job: Living close to your job will make it easy for you to see your kids in the morning before dashing off to work without the fear of traffic hovering over your head. Shuttling to work and back home won’t be much of a chore if you live close to your job. An apartment close to your job might cost more if the office is in a suburban area, but you’ll get to spend less time commuting and feel less stressed.
- Get Help: You need every assistance you can get, from trusted domestic staff to a supportive and caring spouse to other relatives. The people in your inner circle can take your kids to school and watch them while you are working longer hours. Since your family is in trusted hands, you’ll be able to focus on your job whether you are in town or not.
- Be Kind to Yourself: Between your workload and managing a family, you need to find some time for some RnR (Rest and Recreation). To keep your energy up, you should take good care of your body, get enough sleep, find a skincare routine that will make you feel young, beautiful, and empowered. Plan and take a vacation and when you are on it, make the best use of every leisure time you can get.
- Build a Work Team: When you invest time in building up other people, they will be able to work whether you are there to supervise or not. If you happen to work without a team, enlist the help of your colleagues with tasks that are not confidential to you and your boss.
- Teach your kids to be independent:From the age of eight, kids should be taught how to clean up their rooms. Older kids from the age of eleven should know how to do their laundry and make a quick snack. You can’tyour job, home management e.g laundry, cooking, and cleaningall the time without getting burnt out. Chores should be divided equally amongst the older kids while you get to have some alone time. When you teach your children to clean up after themselves and be independent, it will help them become wholesome and responsible.
Every career person with a family knows it takes extra work to maintain a healthy balance between the job and family life. It is not impossible to have the life you’ve always dreamt of and the career you want.
The important thing while striving for perfection is to accept mistakes as they come, learn from them, and build a team at home and in your workplace to help out when needed. You can also get tips from others in similar situation but always remember to do what’s best for yourself and your family.