Don’t confuse having a career with having a life

Posted by Gaynor Topham

“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”

―Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto

I wanted to share a post about this idea of achieving ‘work life balance’, or harmony as I prefer to call it. In doing some background reading, I stumbled across this fantastic quote from Heather Schuck, which I think sums it up beautifully.

Time for a career break

My plan early in 2018 was to take a career break. To take time out to focus on our family and our lives, which had seemingly started to get a little out of whack.

The idea was to get back into the work thing in February 2019. But here I am writing this, working for Sprout (from my local café today) and it seems to have worked out a little differently! I have to say, I couldn’t be happier…

But wait, what? Sprout…

An opportunity came along that seemed too good to miss. Interesting and meaningful work that was truly innovative in a market where everyone talks about being unique. Working with awesome, down-to-earth people with passion and drive by the bucket load.

I was taken with the idea of being part of that and contributing to New Zealand’s scaling businesses and workforce.

The icing on the cake is the flexibility. What I have come to realise is that it truly fits around my life; the hours, the locations and how I work. Isn’t that the way it should be? It seems obvious, but so many businesses and industries have become so attached to the 9-5 way of working.

How work life harmony works

I’m 10 weeks into my role at Sprout. I’ve worked from home some days, from our two Auckland Hubs (Takapuna or Ponsonby) and from a few of my favourite local cafés.

On some days I’ve not worked during ‘office hours’ as I wanted to go to watch my local school’s athletics and help with their Christmas Fayre. I did a few urgent bits remotely and once the kids were tucked up in bed I logged on and had time to focus properly. The dog even comes into the office so I have company!

Being able to do the kids drop off and pick up, walk the dog so she doesn’t dig up the garden and all the other bits that come with being the COO of our home seems like I have hit the jackpot!

As Hilary Clinton said, ‘Don’t confuse having a career with having a life’ and I totally to agree with this statement hence using it as the title and, on reflection I think I just got a little lost a while back in my own career.

A journey to flexibility

I am however finding it's 'a journey' to becoming truly flexibility. So far, I feel super productive, at peace with managing expectations around my work and personal life outputs…dare I say it…I have work life harmony?

I’m not sure I can put into words the gratitude for being in the position I am in, but I’m trying to let it show through my work and that’s my way of saying thank you.

Giving people the opportunity to work, live and play in a way that suits them does not just bring benefits to the person, but to the business they work for.

Sprout offers recruitment and human resources consulting, performance coaching and business management advice. We are committed to only working with Kiwi-owned scaling businesses. We believe that supporting these businesses we will contribute to making New Zealand a more prosperous country and positive, happier workforce (like the one I work for!).

Our door is always open


0800 4 SPROUT (0800 4 777 688)

Find your Hub >