December 30, 2008
The top 7 work/life balance stories of 2008
When I started this blog eight months ago, my editors and I were eager to bring readers news and tips on avoiding burnout, landing a dream job, nabbing a flexible work schedule, finding a family-friendly workplace, and juggling work life with home life.
Well. You don't need me to tell you that the work/life balance conversation has taken its share of twists and turns since then. In the past three months, talk of landing a telecommuting gig has quickly turned to talk of surviving a layoff.
It's easy to fall prey to wallowing in all the doom and gloom. However, I prefer to talk about where we go from here to balance personal life and work life (or job hunt) as best we can, no matter how difficult our circumstances may be. So that's what I intend to do on this blog in the coming year.
But before we look ahead, let's revisit the top work/life balance stories of 2008.
1. Family-friendly workplace policies: not just for women. The stigma of men wanting better balance between their work and family life finally lifts.
2. Working solo together. No longer content to work at home in three-day-old pajamas, telecommuters and freelancers flock to coworking locations.
3. Better living through unplugging. Closing your inbox and turning off your mobile at least one day a week is the new black.
4. Balance comes to the presidential ballot. For the first time in history, both presidential candidates added flexible and family-friendly workplace policies to their economic platforms.
5. Employers dole out perks for cash-strapped commuters. When gas prices hit $4 a gallon, some employers instituted four-day workweeks.
6. Belt-tightening bureaucrats start slashing benefits. Hey, it's better than laying you off, right?
7. Having a dream job takes a back seat to having a job, period. A tight job market means job seekers can't afford to be choosy and disgruntled employees can't afford to leave.
Next up, my predictions for the top work/life balance stories of 2009.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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