An increasing number of workers are starting to recognize that success in their careers should not be measured by how much money they are earning, but how successfully they have achieved a work-life balance. According to the 2013 Defining Success survey conducted by global professional services company Accenture, the majority of respondents said that their top definition of career success is achieving work-life balance, ranking higher than money, autonomy and recognition. In fact, more than half of the respondents actually said that they refused a job simply because they were concerned with the negative impact it might have on their work-life balance.
Here are some reasons why achieving this balance is more important than a big paycheck.
1. Money does not buy happiness. Many people make a lot of sacrifices for a job that offers them a high salary. But is the sacrifice they are making worth the cost to their relationships and their personal life? In fact, as long as their basic needs are met and they feel part of a supportive community, many relatively poor people are actually happier than their more moneyed counterparts.
2. You live a healthier life. People in high-paying jobs usually have to work longer hours or have more responsibilities. This means that they have to spend more time at the office or doing work, at the expense of their personal life. Thus, while they are earning more, they are usually less fulfilled. There is also a big risk that they will burn out and end up not being as effective as they need to be in their work, which can affect their prospects for a promotion or for increased responsibilities.
3. You learn to appreciate what you have. People often dream of having a high-paying job because they think of all the things they can buy for their family if they have more money. But what would be the point of giving your loved ones all these possessions if you don’t have the time to spend with them? In fact, many children who grew up with parents who worked all the time at high paying jobs would later say that they would have preferred to have more time with them than to have a lot of expensive toys, clothes and other possessions.
4. It makes you work better. When you’re spending nearly all of your time at the office, with very little left for your personal life, there is a big risk that you will not have anything new you can bring to your work. If you have more time to pursue personal interests and learn new things, you can become more creative and bring a fresh perspective to your work. But if you are stuck in a rut, it is highly unlikely that you will come up with the new ideas that can keep you competitive in the workplace.
5. You will regret sacrificing your personal life for your work. At the end of your working life, when you’re finally forced to retire, you will not say to yourself, I wish I had spent more time at the office. Rather, you will regret that your personal ties with your friends and family are not as strong as they could be, because you were not able to spend time with them. Do you want to suffer from this regret?
While in today’s society it is important to have a good salary to meet all of our and our family’s needs, ultimately, money is not everything. To live a good life, it is essential to find that balance where we are fulfilled in our career and our personal lives.