i am awakening from my long winter’s nap to finally reply to your post. At least this time, I don’t think you are too far into left field. I agree that work-life balance is a flawed premise, but it’s one that I think we need for now. It is my opinion is that each person should pursue work that fits with their passions and interests. Employers should also seek out individuals who “fit” well with their jobs and create environments where individuals can bring their talents, passions and interests to the job. When both parties do their part, it brings balance because work doens’t feel like work. It feels natural and energizing.
Unfortunately, I think we find ourselves talking about work-life balance because neither party (the individual or the employer) is holding up their end of the bargain. I am disheartened daily to talk with people who are “trapped” in jobs they dislike, working for companies they don’t care about. The troubling part for me is that they are only trapped by their lack of courage to do something about it. I recognize that we are in tough times right now and jobs are hard to come by, but that doesn’t mean that an individual shouldn’t be networking and building contacts or maybe going back to school right now. Both of these actions create forward momentum towards a better job situation.
On the employer front, we need this work-life balance discussion for now. While it’s flawed, it at least keeps the issue top of mind. Organizations need to continue to think about the individuals in their company and try to create a culture where people can bring all of themselves to work. Only when this happens and organizations realize that it’s about capturing the hearts and minds of people will this work-life discussion end. In the mean time, we need to continue to fly the work-life balance banner to ensure that employers continue to struggle with this issue.