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Consider Work/Life Blend

March 2, 2020

Keep It Super Simple (KISS) in Wellbeing-Consider Work/Life Blend

Part 1

We have been told a lie that we can balance our time and energy between career and life. How is that working for you, compartmentalizing family, hobbies, career advancement, relationships and veterinary medicine?

Consider allowing the career, family, hobbies, relationships and veterinary medicine to BLEND; healthy ways to embrace integration. Don’t make the important parts of your life oppose each other.  For me, my work and life support each other, consistent and symbiotic, not in direct conflict to each other. Each supports the other bringing me the greatest joy in being a veterinary professional.

When I first heard the term “work/life blend,” it resonated well with me. While working on the floor at a veterinary hospital (many years ago), I blended my time to support my work’s passion and my life’s purpose. I was doing it (work/life blend) but didn’t realize it was blending in the moment. I was given time (on the clock) to attend Toastmasters and present educational classes with the local 4-H clubs. I have fond memories meeting with the local leaders and engaged club members.

Blending scenarios can be created for everyone

Practice manager, desiring to enhance her public speaking skills attends Toastmasters classes. Not only does she lead by example in career development but uses the networking opportunities to enhance programs at the hospital. She expands her confidence and her newfound composure elevates her ability to facilitate powerfully productive team meetings.

Credentialed veterinary technician, with a passion for dog behavior, gathers with local, respected dog trainers and creates a weekly puppy socialization class at the hospital. Her understanding of the human-animal bond is greatly improved, and she begins providing resources to her team impacting the client experience.

Veterinary aide, who enjoys journaling, writes a monthly blog focusing on the ways children and pets grow together. Clients following the blog then comment on Instagram, thus increasing the outreach of this column. Potential new clients may find and read this blog and become interested in your hospital. Your aide is recognized as a contributing, positive force within the elementary community.

Client specialist, known for her garden vegetables, is encouraged to bring fresh dishes to the team’s social functions. She offers garden-fresh door prizes at the annual Open House.

Kennel assistant, demonstrating an artistic streak, leads a team to create Angel Decorations around  the Holidays, in memory of all the pets that crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the past year. She posts photos on the Hospital’s website, Pinterest, and Facebook page, honoring the pets of team members and clients.

Veterinarian, with a desire to learn more about business, has been elected to sit on the local Bank’s Board of Directors. By stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking on this role, she is seen as a leader in the community as well as learning hand-on skills that translates back to the practice.

You get the idea. Allowing for life interests to blend with work is a win-win scenario.  It supports the individual team member’s passions, increases their professional growth and ultimately helps strengthen the overall skills for the hospital. A veterinary team crafting a work/life blend may experience more career satisfaction.

4 Tips to manage work/life blend KISS

Key in Flow and knowing when you are working at your peak performance (morning, evening or night). With all the veterinary hospital models (specialty, emergency, weekend, walk-ins), surely a veterinary professional can find a shift that works best for their cadence rhythm and family needs. Why not consider staggering schedules to meet the growing demands of clients? A morning shift and evening shift a couple nights a week, as an example.

Identify your passion(s) and allow your passion to be your guide in time management and focus. Be clear in what brings you the greatest joy in your day. Consider

Seek Help from co-workers and management to set a schedule that blends nicely with the demands at work and creative opportunities that support you and your family. Be flexible to allow for creative and innovative ways to integrate your work with your life. Consider some of the examples listed above, tweak them to fit your circumstances, and integrate passion with daily duties.

Set healthy boundaries in a conscious way, with respect for those around you.

“Within a work environment, establishing boundaries can be done in multiple ways. You can still work hard and be a valued member of the veterinary team when you set boundaries. This means defining job duties and being realistic about the time and energy needed to complete the duties to a certain quality standard.Maintain the standards but avoid overtaxing yourself by setting unrealistic expectations. These expectations may be set by others, or internally by you.  Make sure you know where expectations are actually coming from,” we wrote in a previous blog, Healthy Work Boundaries

Two researchers, Jeffrey Greenhaus and Gary Powell, support the work-life blend approach as posted in the Harvard Business Review, 2

“Work and personal life should be allies and that participation in multiple roles, such as parent, partner, friend, employee, can actually enhance physical and psychological well-being — especially when all of the roles are high quality and managed together.”

In short, consider how well you are balancing your life. If balance doesn’t seem to be working, consider a blend.  How do you elegantly blend your life and work?  By taking advantage of life’s passions, it will lead to increased productivity, motivation, team cooperation and morale, and decreased work-related stress. All of this leads to a financially stable and rewarding work environment.

Yours in Work/Life Blend,

Rebecca Rose, CVT

Certified Career Coach

Resources

Forget Work-Life Balance: Aim for Blend Instead, HuffPost, April 2015  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/success-and-motivation_b_4889295