16 answers
Updated Viewed 215 times Translate

How to balance life and work as an entry-level employee? Would it be better if I worked more to understand the tasks of the job as I am new to the industry?


Work-Life balance is fairly crucial. A well-balanced life can increase your productivity and prevent you from burning out. This is true in all stages of your career life. I suggest that you should design a daily routine for balancing your life and work. By following your routine, you can prevent misuse of time and or procrastination.  Know what your tasks and roles are before you dive into your work. You need to have the basic knowledge and make acquaintances of what you are dealing with. If you do not know, devote a little more time to figure it out. Overall, you should have a regular routine and have the basic knowledge of what you are dealing with. Do not forget to ask for help or instructions if necessary. Always remember to work smarter before you start to work harder. Best wishes! Angela C.

Work smarter, I would definitely remember that. Thank you for the advice! Nievedha P.

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
17
100% of 15 Pros

16 answers


Updated Translate

Bradley’s Answer

I would recommend putting in the hours early in your career. Build your reputation as a solid worker. That way, when (if) you start a family you can shift your focus from work to family without suffering any setbacks to your career ambitions. But don't work yourself to death. If you start dreaming about work, it's time to pull back.

Also ask this question directly to any company that interviews you. "West coast" style companies like Google are known for being more generous with work/life balance than more traditional companies. Sometimes it's industry driven. If you choose to be an ER Doctor, you can bet that work will always dominate your personal life.

Thank you for the great advice. It definitely makes better sense now! Nievedha P.

2
100% of 2 Pros
Updated Translate

David’s Answer

How to balance life and work as a entry-level employee, first you have to think like back in college for balancing your study and workload plan out everything such as time management, what need to be done, and etc. So, how you balance it is how you want it to be, both life and work needs to be equally balance, definitely need the sleep of at least 8 hours, definitely needs to eat, definitely needs to enjoy and stress-free like go out and relax, definitely need to work in order to have income to do thing, and etc. Most important is you have to think of these thing I listed below:

- Time Management
- Self-awareness
- Empathy
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Coping with stress
- Coping with emotions

Yes, working more or learning more is good, but you don't need to force yourself at the moment since you are just a entry-level, take one step at a time and move your way up. Let's say right now Life vs. Work is 50/50, and if you think Life is carrying a bit much you can switch it back and forth from Life vs. Work, you can for put the load toward Life for sometimes and Work sometimes, everything can you vice versus as long as you know how to balance it and as well time management, problem solving, decision making, and etc. play a role in there so you knows what you are doing. Never stresses yourself out with Life vs. Work, always take a step back or go time out so you can clear your mind about re-think about everything, it is all about time and how you use it, everything else just plays a part of it to the end.

Thank you so much for the detailed advice! I have been stressing out and I should definitely take a step back! I would definitely keep the list in mind! Nievedha P.

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Victor’s Answer

A very good question and one that throughout our careers - whether entry level or exec - we all face. Each industry can be different but certainly in today's world of being continuously connected on-line, it is difficult to control. As an hourly employee, early in your career in technology/healthcare you may have a defined shift or 8 hour job. However you may be asked to work extra hours and/or have a shift which covers evenings or weekends. As an entry level salaried worker you will likely work more than 8 hrs per day and it will shift on demand. The question you have to answer is how much time you devote and how/whether this can benefit your company and create the awareness of your performance and skills. Finding a job you have interest and passion in is important and makes it easier to put in the time and effort.

Thank you for the detailed advice! It is of great help to understand the different questions I have to keep in mind when tackling such problems! Nievedha P.

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

RAVI’s Answer

Balancing work-life is extremely critical at the entry level, mid-level or even at higher level. If you do not have a life, and enjoy life, you will not be working for very long and things will start spiraling down!

You should balance work and life every day - have lunch breaks with colleagues or friends at least once or twice a week.
Take two or 3 breaks for 5 to 10 minutes, close your eyes, think about what you have accomplished so far in the day and what more needs to be done and prioritize. We are in an ever changing hour, day, and weekly deliverables, and an ever changing world. These small breaks come in handy to cushion the impacts of work load.

Of course it is important to learn what you are doing and master it. It actually makes the work easier as you learn more. It will also help you advance and reap rewards as you become an expert in your job and field and may actually make it easier to enjoy life with the financial freedom that comes with it.
Best of luck.

I hope to take small breaks per your advice! It would definitely help me out! Thank you so much for the great advice! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Jordan’s Answer

I think as you are starting any new position it is incredibly important to understand your manager's expectations. This way you are not second guessing if you are accomplishing what you need to day-to-day. It is important to be proactive with your Manager by scheduling time to discuss expectation questions. I have found this give me peace of mind when I am out of the office.

I also think that it's very important to schedule time each week to maintain your organization. For example, Scheduling time to review your outstanding to-do list, organize your documents/emails, and/or working on improving one of your job task. It may seem difficult to make time for this during your week, but ultimately saves you time in the long run.

Lastly, I agree with everyone else who stated that boundaries are important. Having time to turn-off work, especially in the age of work from home, is very important to ensure you are able to re-charge and de-compress.

0
Updated Translate

Howard’s Answer

I think that learning all you can during your first few weeks on the job is very important. I will go against the grain (so to speak) and tell you that in order to do this, you might NOT have a very balanced work/home life the first few weeks on the job as you may consider immersing yourself in the policies, rules, procedures, and skills that will be required to fulfill your job . I WOULD encourage you to use some of your free time to review things and maybe even talk with fellow employees to help you become more comfortable in your new position.

After this intense, busy first weeks, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND following the advice others has given you in regard to your free time . You should start to proactively plan leisure activities that you enjoy doing on your time off work. Also, make sure you give yourself some DOWNTIME during the week where you can just relax, meditate, pray, read, or other things that take your mind off your work and other responsibilities.

Thank you for the very honest advice! I did think the same, to put the effort in the first few weeks or months but was afraid if i was approaching it wrong. This definitely clears that up! Thank you once again. Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Jessica Sera’s Answer

Hi there,

As a current entry-level employee, I would say that a work-life balance is something that I struggle with too. Having recently graduated from college, it is a fast transition from taking classes to working full time. In my opinion, I believe that you will never find a true balance. Because we are human and every single person is different, the concept of balance means something different for each individual. In addition, since I do not have context on what your actual job is, it is difficult to provide specific advice on how you can find this balance for yourself. However, there are a few tips I can recommend that may help you! First, check-in with yourself regularly. How do you feel after you come home from work? Do you find yourself exhausted? If this is the case, it may be helpful to initiate a change in your life or a better daily routine to regain some energy for your workdays. Another action item would be to talk to your boss or supervisor about your working hours. Is it even an option for you to work more hours? If you are a part-time employee, for example, a company may not allow you to take on more hours. Generally, if you do not feel challenged or want to gain more experience, it may be helpful to talk to your supervisor about the extent of your work. If you have an honest conversation, they may give you some projects aligned to your interests. In addition, your job is not solely the way to find out more about your industry. If you are looking for other perspectives, know that you can always network with other professionals in the field you are interested in! Linkedin is a great tool to reach out to other professionals to gain their insight.

Hope this helps!

Jessica Sera recommends the following next steps:

Check in with yourself - how do you feel about your job?
Change your routine to help find a greater sense of work/life balance
Talk to your supervisor about taking on projects you may be interested in
Network with other professionals to gain insight about the industry you are interested in

Thank you so much for the various to-do's. I am starting a job in the technology industry and I was nervous about the compromise on social life as a fresh graduate! Good luck in your journey and thank you once again! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Nadia’s Answer

Usually first months can be challenging when it comes to finding the perfect balance between your life and work. Everything takes so much time, even simplest things such as finding a conference room.
As a new joiner, it's very easy to overload yourself with additional task and also to avoid asking for help. It's very natural, especially if we really want to become a part of our team, impress management and show that hiring us was the best decision that the company has ever made :) That's why I think you question is very important and it's great that you think about it.

1. First of all, it's important to set up boundaries that will allow you to show commitment, but also allow to rest and have private life. Think and list all priorities that you have and that are related to the work-life balance and all areas where it's not a problem for you to be flexible. Side note: if any of you non-negotiable priorities is in collision with company's requirements, it would be recommended to think about it, but it's another topic. Knowing those areas of potential flexibility will help you to act and react in situations where additional commitment is required in a way that is aligned with yourself.

2. Communicate clearly. Avoid unclear messages such as "Uhm, generally speaking it would be possible for me to do it, but I am not sure..." as it may easily lead to giving you all possible tasks :)

3. It's not mandatory to work 24/7 to be the best :) People will appreciate that you don't take all additional projects, but in the ones you do, you give 100%.

Recommended book: "Essentialism" by Greg Mckeown

Good luck in your job!

Thank you so much Nadia! I will definitely check out the book. I will try to give my best in the tasks rather than looking at the quantity as per your advice! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Pedro’s Answer

My advice is to talk to some colleagues about this. Don't be afraid to ask people who were in your position a year or two ago, and definitely don't be afraid to talk to your line manager (if you're worried how to ask this, you could try starting the conversation by asking them how they found balancing work and life at the start of their career). In a new role, it is a good idea to take a lead from those around you for a few months until you've built up enough experience to answer this question yourself.

When new members of my team ask me this question, my advice is work your hours but work them hard - ensure that you become valued on the quality of work you are producing and not on the hours sat behind your desk.

A happy worker is a productive worker - as an entry level employee, you're probably at an exciting point in your life both in and out of the office, make it all count!

Pedro recommends the following next steps:

talk to colleagues who were entry level employees a year or two ago
talk to your line manager
enjoy the process!

Thank you for the great checklist! I would definitely keep all of it in mind! Quality over quantity was a much needed advice for me! Thank you once again! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Victor’s Answer

A very good question and one that throughout our careers - whether entry level or exec - we all face. Each industry can be different but certainly in today's world of being continuously connected on-line, it is difficult to control. As an hourly employee, early in your career in technology/healthcare you may have a defined shift or 8 hour job. However you may be asked to work extra hours and/or have a shift which covers evenings or weekends. As an entry level salaried worker you will likely work more than 8 hrs per day and it will shift on demand. The question you have to answer is how much time you devote and how/whether this can benefit your company and create the awareness of your performance and skills. Finding a job you have interest and passion in is important and makes it easier to put in the time and effort.

Thank you once again! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Ben’s Answer

Great question! Keep in mind that this is one job in what likely will be a long, amazing career journey. So if you have time, I'd look for opportunities to take on new/interesting assignments that increase your value within your company now, while also rounding our your experiences for future endeavors. Also, don't be shy to look for ways to bring what you you are passionate about to your job. For example, if you have skills/interests that could be of value at your job, perhaps you can find ways to integrate those things into your day to day. Personally, that has made a world of difference in my career as I strive for work/life balance. And if you don't have time, and your balance is way off, don't hesitate to express your concerns to your manager/team. They'll likely respect the honesty.

Integrating my skills is a great advice! Thank you so much! This was very helpful! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Austin’s Answer

Great question Nievedha!! As an entry level employee I am really able to relate to your question. It is not always easy, but there is possible to strike a balance between the professional and personal world. I recommend doing things right, and immediately, the first time. By this I mean do not wait to do an assignment or procrastinate; work moves quickly and before you know it you can easily find yourself overwhelmed. Doing work as soon as you receive it and well the first time ensures that you do not have to review your work for simple errors.

Also, if you feel like your are logging too much time into a task speak up; self-advocating is crucial when you enter the professional world, nobody will speak up on your behalf. Raise concerns proactively and professionally, you will be better because of it.

I hope this helps and feel free to let me know should you have any other questions.

Best,
Austin

Thank you so much for the amazing advice! I do struggle with speaking up being an introvert. Thank you for pointing out the benefits of asking help. I would keep no procrastination in mind too! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

Sandra’s Answer

Hello Nievedha! An entry level job is a great opportunity to learn new skills and more about what you enjoy doing. My advice is to volunteer for different kinds of tasks offered at your new company. This can be a great way you can build your skills and resume for your future. As you take on more responsibility at your new job, you will learn more about how to balance the workload as well as how to balance your work and personal life.

Balance is a common struggle. There are many books about work life balance because it's a challenge to manage. In my own life, I've found being "intentional" about work and home life keeps me in balance. In other words, don't just let life happen to you, but be intentional - the job you choose and even hobbies & leisure activities.

Good Luck!
Sandi

I have never thought about work-life balance in that way! Thank you for this great advice! It definitely gives a new perspective! Nievedha P.

0
Updated Translate

John’s Answer

This is a quality question. One that you will ask yourself anytime you implement something new into your life. It is a common desire to dive right in and devote as much of your time as possible to gain as much traction as possible as fast as possible. This is fine, as long as you dont burn yourself out. Find a comfortable work life balance that encourages both personal and professional growth in and out of the office. Do not let the things that you enjoy most slip away.

0
Updated Translate

Graeme’s Answer

Great question, and one that's relevant to any worker, not just entry-level! In a lot of jobs (especially knowledge worker jobs) there will always be more to do, and more to learn. There are some great answers here already, so I'll add to this by sharing some things I've learned from my experience so far:

Set expectations that you can meet - Working long hours is (for the most part) unsustainable. It can work well for a while, but you're susceptible to burn out, and could need to continue to meet unrealistic expectations which you've given precedent for. A sign of maturity is knowing when to say 'no', or having the awareness that a priority decision needs to be made.

Focus on output and outcomes - Not all hours of work are equal. You may spend an hour procrastinating on a task, and maybe even look busy, but you won't have much to show for yourself. Figure out how to prioritise high impact activities, and don't get caught up in urgent, non-important things that don't lead to necessary outcomes.

Set aside time to learn and improve - It will depend on your job as to whether you can justify this within work hours or not. Regardless of that, I'd encourage you to find a way to make time for it, and keep making time for it. Even as you progress in your career, you'll need to adapt - the world is changing at an increasing rate!

0
Updated Translate

Jordan’s Answer

I think as you are starting any new position it is incredibly important to understand your manager's expectations. This way you are not second guessing if you are accomplishing what you need to day-to-day. It is important to be proactive with your Manager by scheduling time to discuss expectation questions. I have found this give me peace of mind when I am out of the office.

I also think that it's very important to schedule time each week to maintain your organization. For example, Scheduling time to review your outstanding to-do list, organize your documents/emails, and/or working on improving one of your job task. It may seem difficult to make time for this during your week, but ultimately saves you time in the long run.

Lastly, I agree with everyone else who stated that boundaries are important. Having time to turn-off work, especially in the age of work from home, is very important to ensure you are able to re-charge and de-compress.

0