Striking a Balance

Long hours are the standard within the hedge fund industry. In our survey of hedge fund insiders we asked the participants about their work and personal life balance. Now, we realize this is a subjective measure but, at the same time, it couldn’t be more important to long term job satisfaction. We found that:

  • 15% felt they had an excellent work/personal life balance.
  • 65% said they were striking an average to above average balance.
  • 20% felt the balance was off, that is, below average or poor.

Striking the right work-life balance

Finding that best balance between your personal life and your work life is hard to do and isn’t a one-time effort. Here are some tips based on insights from Mayo Clinic to help you find the perfect balance:

  • Keep a log. Track everything you do for one week. Decide what’s necessary and satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy, don’t have time for or do only out of guilt.
  • Take advantage of your options. Work flexible hours or a compressed work week.
  • Communicate clearly. Limit time-consuming misunderstandings (this means both talking and listening carefully).
  • Fight the guilt. Remember, having a family and a job is okay — for both men and women.
  • Recharge. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, working out or listening to music.
  • Set aside one night each week for recreation. Put down the crackberry, power down the computer and turn off the TV. Do activities that will rejuvenate you.
  • Protect your day off. You’ll be more productive when you return.
  • Get enough sleep (not just some sleep). There’s nothing as stressful and potentially dangerous as working when you’re sleep-deprived.

Balance doesn’t mean doing everything. Examine your priorities and set boundaries. Be firm in what you can and cannot do. Only you can restore harmony to your lifestyle.

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