Being True to Yourself: Achieving Work-Life Symbiosis
- by Claire Fox
- 22 Sep 2015
Guest post by Claire Fox
To celebrate National Work Life Week (21st – 28th September), Career Moves Group has teamed up with HR Director and Author Claire Fox to explore work-life symbiosis.
The first step to achieving work-life symbiosis is being True to Yourself. Most of us dream of a mutually beneficial and positive relationship between work and everything else we do, where work makes the other elements of your life better, and vice versa – that’s ‘Work-Life Symbiosis’. Being True to Yourself is the foundation of this. It takes honest self-reflection and may involve some tough choices. But you can do it, and in this first blog post you’ll find out how in the first of three steps:
Stage One: Get Clear on What Matters
If you aren’t clear on what really matters to you in life most of all, you can’t align your life behind it. If you don’t align your life behind it, you can never truly be happy. Think through the following key points to build yourself a picture of what matters the most to you.
1. Make choices
Everyone has loads of things they love in life – friends, family, partner, kids, travelling, career, voluntary work, sport etc. The key is to prioritise. Really challenge yourself to identify the 4 or 5 things that are the MOST important, above all others.
2. Know your values
This is critical. If you have never done an exercise to help you understand your top 3-5 values, you should! There’s a good online tool to help you in the ‘Free Stuff’ section of Jane Sunley’s website. Your values fundamentally underpin the person you choose to be and will deeply impact your life choices.
3. Imagine the future
It’s great to live in the moment, but we also need to think longer term – this can help us understand what sort of person we want to be and whether we’re on track or not! Think a big moment in your life in perhaps 20 years or so. It could be a big birthday or perhaps your retirement party. If someone were doing a speech about you, what would you really hope they would say? Then consider if your behaviour now reflects that and if not, what changes you need to make to ensure you like their speech!
4. Get in touch with your defining moments
We all have critical life moments that make us suddenly realise something important. This could be something you’ve experienced, or what someone said to you. I remember very clearly a conversation with my mum when I was in my early teens. I was moaning about wanting her to buy me something (that incidentally I didn’t need). I snapped at her that “if it wasn’t for this recession, she’d be able to afford it” to which my mum immediately replied “if it wasn’t for this recession there’s be a lot more people with a roof over their head.” That shut me up. Think about your defining moments, and what you learnt from them.
In the next post, Claire will cover the final two stages on being ‘True to Yourself’taken from her book Work-Life Symbiosis: The Model for Happiness and Balance by Claire Fox.