Can We Really Have It All?
Not so long ago, it was easier to leave work at the office. Now, the boundaries have been blurred by improvements in technology. With so many people having a smart phone or Internet access at home, who has not checked his or her voicemail or e-mail after work? This fact when added to the downturn in the United States’ economy, and therefore a shrinking workforce, often equals more work being expected of each individual employee. The work–life balance slope is slippery and those who are resting at the bottom of that slope will be the first to say they do not know how they got there. As with most mountains, there are ways to clamber back up again; however, the simplest route is to avoid the negative effects of work–life imbalance and thus the need to climb upwards.
There are many things one can do to remain engaged and fulfilled—both personally and professionally—throughout a career. The most important thing to remember is work to live, not live to work. If one needs help in living this ideal, there are many people in fisheries science who serve as great examples. Our colleagues can be counted among a diverse cadre, including supportive partners, devoted parents, spiritual leaders, community leaders, coaches, athletes, travel enthusiasts, foodies, artists, and devotees, and users of natural resources. I encourage everyone to look around and find people with similar life experiences who can share their stories of successes and missteps in balancing their career with their personal life.