Balancing Your IT Career and Life

Starting a new career can be an exciting but overwhelming time in your life, especially if youВ have justВ landed a job in the IT industry.В So, before you get fully immersed in your new careerВ createВ a plan to help keep yourВ job and home life balanced.
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IT is a Fast-Paced Industry

According toВ an article onВ,В “if you pick the tech industry to work in then be prepared for a competitive, fast-paced and sometimes tiring journey.”В Most IT professionals work more thanВ 40 hoursВ a week.В That isВ less time for the gym, less time for family and less time for other leisure activities. However, there is a way to balance it all.В В .

Prioritize Life and Work Balance

During a CCI Virtual Q&A with Randy Chong, a Solutions Engineer at Hitachi Vantara and a 31-year IT veteran,В weВ askedВ his thoughts on work-life balance in the IT industry.

Chong said,В “[your work] doesn’t always have to be your identity, that’s a lot of what you know but you’re also a father, you’re also a brother, you’re also a husband, there’s a balance.”

Making time for family, hobbies and other important activities is a great way to balance your work life and home life. In addition, keeping work at work is a good practice to ensure youВ keep the two separate.

Tips for Life Balance with Remote IT Work

Balance can be a little moreВ challengingВ in aВ remote IT position,В butВ it is possibleВ as long asВ you follow some simple tips:

  • Create a separate workspace in your home (if possible)
  • Only work in your dedicated workspace or home office
  • Try not to eat meals at your desk
  • Inform family members thatВ ifВ you’re in your workspaceВ not to interrupt youВ (unlessВ there isВ an emergency)
  • OnceВ you areВ done with yourВ workday, close everything down and leave the area
  • Plan activities for after work hours so you’re not tempted to keep working

These tips might takeВ time andВ practice,В but they can make balancing your work and lifeВ more manageable.

Long Work Hours Versus Workaholism

Working longer hours is a reality for most IT professionals, but thisВ doesn’tВ mean you have to become a “workaholic.”В When work becomes more important than other priorities in your life, such as family,В downtime, self-care, and wellness, the scale startsВ to tip from being a hard worker to workaholism.

An article in theВ Harvard Business ReviewВ touches on this subject andВ clarifiesВ the difference between people who work long hours and people who struggle to detach from work.

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The study found that “longВ work hours were not related to any health issues, while workaholism was.”В So, while working long hours might sound tiring,В as long asВ youВ stay focused on work/life balanceВ you should be safe from developing anyВ workaholicВ health-related issues,В such as:

  • sleep disruption/insomnia
  • frequent headaches
  • frequentВ and/or unpredictable mood changes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • physical/mental exhaustion

Many people experience burnoutВ from time to time, but burnoutВ is usually temporary and can be rectified by adding more balance into your life. Workaholism is typically longer-term and becomes more of a lifestyle than a phase.

Final Words of Wisdom

“Make sure you find that balance, don’t get soВ engrossedВ in the job thatВ itВ is the only thing you do. You still have an actual life as well. And for those who have partners and kids, to me, that’sВ more important than the job. The job isВ justВ a means to take care of that family.”

– Randy Chong, Solutions Engineer, Hitachi Ventara

For the entire interview with Randy Chong click the link below:

Watch the Full Interview

IT Certification

Written By

Joseph Weber

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