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Work/life balance in Quill magazine

14 Feb

I was recently interviewed for a piece in Quill magazine, published by the Society of Professional Journalists, about work/life balance issues for journalists. You can read the entire piece online, but here’s an excerpt:

Other journalists have found a way to take their families on their journey without roaming far from home. Megan Cottrell, a 30-year-old reporter and blogger for The Chicago Reporter, works mostly from home for about 25 hours a week. She and her husband, who works three 12-hour shifts a week as a nurse, trade off taking care of their 1-year-old son with minimal outside help.

“I think in college I always imagined working 40 hours a week, and as I settled into adulthood I realized that wasn’t what I really wanted,” Cottrell said about her professional and parenting choices. “This profession really beats the crap out of your personal life; I think it’s really important (to think) about what it can do to you and setting limits on that.”

Work/life balance is something I’m really passionate about. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a millennial or what, but I believe most of us work too hard, or at least too much. I admire European societies with their month-long vacations and siestas. I believe journalism is deeply creative work, and to be deeply creative, you have to be healthy and happy and whole.

I suppose some people might be healthy and happy, living in front of their computer or constantly connected to their smartphone, but I also have some doubts about that. I don’t think human beings have caught up biologically to our fast paced lifestyle, and if we’re going to do meaningful work, we have to get back to a balanced state where we can actually suss out what makes work meaningful and what our purpose is.

Okay, this is getting too Dr. Phil-like. It’s a good article. Read it!

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