Work-life balance is that elusive state of mind which we think we have cracked only for some small change to throw us out again!

The thing is, many factors affect what your ideal work-life balance would be at any given time: your age, your stage in life, your financial situation, your family situation or your support network. As these things shift and change, which they constantly do, you are required to find a new definition of the right balance for you and your life. This is a major thing because the balance that you’d achieve only works for you!

As a young school or university leaver with debts, looking for a stable, long-term career with prospects is probably top of your priority list. You want to get a foot in the door and may look for work and play to mix together a bit more as you socialise with colleagues.

As financial pressures mount you may be happy to give up more of the life side of things in your balance in order to reach the next level of your career and the monetary rewards that should bring.

Children tend to change the balance dramatically; young kids, in particular, tend to pull you towards a life over work balance and then as they grow older you may find the pendulum swing back again.

If you love work, great! If you have a clear idea of the career goals you want to achieve, great! If not, you can be stuck in a world of way too much choice, too many options, or even too few!

Going from a career to the next is much more acceptable these days and the thought of staying in the same job from start to finish is increasingly unappealing, so it is a viable option but doesn’t tend to lead too much job satisfaction, which all contributes to that balance. Employers do seem to offer less and less in the way of incentive to remain loyal so why would you? This is a good lesson for the entrepreneurs to remember, give your employees a reason to stay but encourage new ideas and growth to prevent complacency.

If I think about my own journey, I started out in the beauty industry trying to start my own business, then moved into the corporate world in retail. After having my children, I moved to self-employment as a swimming instructor and now I am back to running my own business. I have spent many hours retraining and learning and searching for what will make work, work for me.

Running Live Laugh Giraffe makes me happy because I know that if we can make it work, we can really help people and so this joy in my work leads me to a realisation about my work-life balance…

I think innovation is always key. A reinvention of yourself, new skills, new directions can invigorate your work-life balance and for me, the key is not to balance but to be happy, to find a work that makes you happy, to find a life that makes you happy, therein lies the sought-after balance (tweet this!).

The Author

Sam Polok Live Laugh Giraffe

Sam Polok, Head Keeper of Live Laugh Giraffe the lifestyle magazine and social hub by YOU!

We provide a positive space so that together we can work across all ages to share life, help each other through and enjoy the fun stuff!

My Sister and I set up the website to provide a place where people can come and know that they are not alone, we will try to support them by showing them that there are other people going through similar situations and that together we can help each other through, more than that we can enjoy fun things together as well. We monitor the website in order to keep it a positive space of support although we encourage people to challenge opinions in a positive dialogue.

We want to challenge people to be their real selves, to be accepted as that, in the hope that it might give them the confidence to let it spill over into the rest of their lives.