As a Latina first-generation professional, the journey to achieving career success often comes with its own set of challenges. As we navigate the career ladder, our careers can be the driving force behind your time and energy. Although, we still have our responsibilities to our families, loved ones and our own personal downtime.
In my early twenties, I didn't care to be as strict with my time and dedication to the workplace since I didn't have any "real responsibilities". I often stayed late at work, took on extra projects and worked the extra shift. This soon became burnout, exhaustion, and losing my sense of purpose and connection to my own needs. As I grew, I came to realize that my job will always continue to take from me, and it was necessary to create strong boundaries between work and personal life.
In this blog post, we'll explore practical tips and insights to help fellow first-gen professionals find that elusive balance between work and personal life.
4 Key Tips for Work/Life Balance
Understand Your Priorities
Dive into what truly matters to you professionally and personally. Knowing your priorities is like having your own personal compass guiding your choices. Begin by identifying your core values.
What truly matters to you in both your professional and personal life?
This career development toolkit can be used to help you understand your purpose-driven career goals, reflect on your journey, and assess your future career planning with actionable goals.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Boundaries are very hard, especially in a culture that is family oriented and interconnected. Many of our responsibilities are the responsibilities of others. When you have a better understanding of your priorities, you will need to start building your schedule around those. This might mean that you have to tell your sister that you can't pick up her kids at school, even though "you aren't at work during that time". Politely declining additional tasks when your plate is full can prevent burnout and maintain a healthier work-life balance.
I love time blocking to help me with my scheduling and I organize the days of my week to certain task and responsibilities. I assign my days to family time, study time, coaching, and me time.
It is important to organize your time in a planner. Here are some of my favorite planners available on Amazon!
Communicate Your Needs
Establish open communication with colleagues and supervisors about your workload and commitments. This helps manage expectations and can lead to more realistic timelines. Sometimes we can be stressed at work, and we can either hold it in or let the stress come home with us. Speak to people that are close to you about your needs and that you might not be available as often as they would like.
Being in my doctoral program, I had to sit down with my son and explain to him that even though it is Saturday, I will be in my office writing. I also informed my fiancé that I needed his help with not planning things for those days, since it would make me feel guilty if I had to say no or I wouldn't complete my assignments.
Balancing work and personal life as a Latina first-generation professional is a continuous journey. By understanding your values, setting boundaries, managing time effectively, fostering open communication, and embracing your cultural identity, you can navigate this delicate juggling act successfully. Remember, it's not about perfection but about finding a harmonious blend that allows you to thrive both personally and professionally.