You check the clock. 6:28 p.m. Two minutes before you absolutely must leave work in order to meet your friends for dinner. You can’t be late and disappoint them—again. Furiously typing, you finish what seems like your 100th press release of the day, hit send and rush out the door. You’re driving with one hand and trying to re-apply mascara with the other when your mom calls. You haven’t talked to her in forever, but once you try to pick up you’re interrupted by an email saying your press release was never received. The boss is mad—real mad. Stressed out yet?
You should be. The life of a young professional is a hectic schedule of work, play and trying to figure out just what the heck you’re doing. Every young professional will go through the struggle of finding a work-life balance at some point, and everyone will experience it differently. Here are four tips from young professionals and The University of Alabama alumnae Siarra Swalve, Meg Burton and Savannah Bass on how to navigate your journey into your career and successful “adulting”.
1) Make time for what is important. Time is precious in your jam-packed schedule, so make the most of it. Think about what really matters to you in life—your family, friends, pets, hobbies and more. Then set aside time specifically for those things that work will not invade. When you prioritize a person or thing, it shows how much you care.
2) Schedule “you-time”. Go for a run. Watch a movie. Treat yourself to ice cream. Read a book. Whatever it is, do something that makes you happy every day. Even five minutes of relaxing and listening to music can be enough to sooth the most stressed-out psyche.
3) Understand that your life and career will change like the seasons. This is a big one. Sometimes, your career will feel like it’s dominating your life. That is natural. Just like seasons in nature, career stress will come and go as you strive for new goals and then settle into your positions. A work-first mentality will be necessary at times to help you achieve your goals. At other times, you’ll be able to ride the wave of a solid work schedule and find more time to focus on your personal life.
4) Remember that no one actually has it together. It’s almost a guarantee that even your highest boss feels like his or her life is held together by Elmer’s glue at some points. Public relations is a stressful industry to enter, no matter what position you find yourself in. The best thing to remember is that you can find support from your co-workers, and in return you can support them. As young public relations professionals we are all in this together, one caffeine-binging late night at the office at a time.
How are you going to ensure that you find time to relax during the first years of your career?
-by Bethany Corne, UA PRSSA Publications Committee Leader
Bethany Corne is the publications committee leader for The University of Alabama PRSSA and a digital strategist at Capstone Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter @BethanyyyC14 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.