“I want work-life balance.” This is a topic that comes up all the time, but what does it really mean? In my experience it is a statement that can have unintended consequences.
Here are some things I have heard from hiring mangers based on this comment:
The person is lazy
They are burnt out
They are not a fit because we all work extremely hard here
They have a family that will take away from work and make their hours unpredictable
The reality is that the meaning of work-life balance is different for each person, so unless you unpack that statement, you are at the mercy of the interviewer’s thoughts on the subject. If you want work-life balance, rephrase to describe what you really mean.
So, out with Work-Life Balance and in with What That Means To You. Here are some examples of how simple it can be to avoid a negative impact on the interview process:
I am looking for a role that calls for a 40-50 hour per week commitment in the office. When I am home I do not always want to be still working. Occasional emails and other items are okay, but not the rule.
I expect to work 50-60 hours per week, but when I need to work remotely for family obligations, I would love to have that flexibility. That will probably be a few times a month.
Rule of Thumb:
Make it short and to the point.
If a 7 year old cannot understand it, you are over thinking it.
Some people think 30 hours a week is a full load, while others think anything less than 70 is hard to imagine. Take the mystery out of this situation and be specific.
-Written By Tim Sprangers