Priorities: Family – Career Balance for a Happy Retirement

Have you ever been made aware that your priorities don’t match your actions?

I have and it hurts. I always felt that I was good at controlling my destiny and that my energy matched my motives and my objectives.

Where did I stumble?   And who let me know?

I was becoming focused on career to the detriment of family, and thankfully my wife let me know. More thankfully, I woke up and listened.

Too many friends didn’t heed this peril and paid for it in ways they could never have imagined.

For many, including me, career is important. It provides our economic lifeblood, future security and if well chosen, a deep level of satisfaction. It also tends to thrive when you are passionate and focused upon its demands.

So then why do we struggle with the tension between career and the other aspects of our life?

It goes back to the first question above – putting our actions where our priorities lie.

For many, if you were to ask – lose your family or lose your career, there would be no contest. Many would give their lives for their family and loved ones yet few would give it for their careers. (Military and emergency services personnel are arguably the exception.)   But even though we value our family and our relationships, we seldom invest the time and more importantly, the emotional energy that we give to our ‘career’.

It is only when we are reminded – do we step back and look at our actions and realize that alignment is required.

There are so many moral, emotional and altruistic reasons to be looking after all of the needs of family. The secret benefit that most of us fail to realize? – –  is that you will perform better, last longer and be more effective at work, if you have your family / loved ones fully satisfied by your attention. That way, they in turn can support you. They are your fuel, your backstop and your safety net. Get the career – family balance right and look forward to a wonderful retirement.

Retirement is not important when you’re working and establishing a career, but let me assure you that it is most important when the time approaches. Are you prepared? If not, I suggest you keep in mind; the career – family balance.

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