Work-Life Balance in the Real-World – Launi Skinner CEO of First West Credit Union & Laura Bickle Managing Editor Today's Parent

Did you do much “homework” this weekend? How many work related emails and calls do you deal with outside of work hours? Do you find it challenging to effectively manage your personal and professional life?  

A poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid and The Globe & Mail showed that work-life balance is the top issue that most professionals face in their career.


You can listen to the podcast from our webinar on work-life balance with Launi Skinner CEO of First West Credit Union & former President of Starbucks North America, and Laura Bickle Managing Editor of Today’s Parent magazine. They shared their thoughts and advice on this important topic from both an employer’s and individual’s perspectives.


Work-life balance – this expression was first used in the mid 1980s to describe the balance and boundaries between an individual’s work and personal life. I find it interesting that this has really been an evolving problem.  


In 2005, a study published by Canadian Social Trends found that we spend 45 minutes per day less with our family than we did two decades earlier. This equates to five 40-hour work weeks less of time with the most important people in our lives.  


I like Laura’s definition; “Work-life balance is a very simple word for a complex question, it is really about managing your family and your career in a way that you are satisfied now and looking back in 15 years from now.”


In a CareerJoy poll question: What is your greatest personal challenge in finding work-life balance? Respondents gave the following answers:

Volume of work (39%)

Technology – Blackberry and email (17%)

Expectations of my boss (17%)

Financial commitments (14%)

Working on global projects (10%)


How much of the challenge is related to our choices and our response to employers’ demands? We are all working in a 24/7 world; we are doing more with more.  


I found what Launi had to say was wise: “Be true to yourself. There are many demands to live in a certain neighbourhood, drive a certain car and dress a particular way. Don’t live someone else’s life. Stuff is just stuff.” I realize that we cannot control all the elements and potential solutions. Some of the solutions suggested by Laura and Launi from our webinar are:


Work with your partner to define a proper balance of responsibilities at home.

Talk to your employer about working from home one day per week.

Downsize your lifestyle.

Take a “not so big” role.

Find a more family friendly manager or employer.


Both of these successful woman shared, “Don’t expect perfection, there is no perfect solution, it is a combination of having a good support system and an open dialogue with your employer, mixed with a dose of humour.”


What are your thoughts about following through? Join the conversation; share your wisdom below.  

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Finding balance, along the road with you!


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