Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

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Returning to STEM

Week 5: Work-life balance


Deciding to return to work or, alternatively, to change direction is just the first step – once you start on your new path your life will become different and there will be changes that affect both you and those around you. This week is aimed at helping you think through what your priorities are and the kind of balance you want to achieve between your work and other aspects of your life.

Work–life balance does not just mean managing and juggling your caring responsibilities. It is a much broader concept that takes a holistic view of your life, including family, friendships, home and community as well as work.

Now watch Sue as she introduces what you’ll be doing this week and tells you a little about what work–life balance means for her.

Download this video clip.Video player: 38059_stem_week5_512x256.mp4
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Hi. Welcome to the second half of the course, Returning to STEM, and congratulations on all your hard work so far. This week, it's all about work/life balance. It’s probably a term you’ve heard mentioned many times, but what is work/life balance all about and how can you achieve a balance that's right for you and your own circumstances? How on Earth can you fit in working with all the other demands on your time?
This week, you'll get the chance to reflect on what this means for you, what is important for you, what can you manage, and what are things going to be like when you return to work. Our work/life balance calculator will help you visualise where your time goes, figure out where you can save time, and work smarter.
How will you manage to juggle all the competing demands on your time? You will hear from other returners about what decisions they made, and you'll get some tips on how to achieve the right balance for you. My best tip for achieving a good work/life balance is ask for help. Share responsibilities with others around you, and don't be tempted to be a martyr. Ask for help in organising what needs to be done to make it all happen for you.
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By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • reflect on your own aspirations with respect to work–life balance in the light of how others have dealt with these issues
  • identify your own work–life balance issues and potential solutions to these
  • evaluate your time management and use tools to identify potential changes in how you use your time.

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