Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

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Returning to STEM

3 Creating the work–life balance you want

Figure 3 Work–life balance

This section aims to get you thinking about how your life may have to change when you return to work. You will hear how different people made decisions about their own work–life balance and what issues they had to consider when they first went back to work after a break.

The issues addressed are:

  • time
  • location
  • childcare and other caring responsibilities
  • money
  • the rest of your life
  • what does it feel like? – coping with conflicting roles.

In this video, two women who returned from career breaks – Barbara and Anne – talk about what work life balance means to them.

Download this video clip.Video player: return_to_stem_week5vid2_512x256.mp4
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Transcript

BARBARA
Work/life balance means, to me, exactly what it says on the tin. It is trying to balance your work and your life, and having to, on occasions, draw some boundaries around work to enable your life and your time with your family to still happen, not launching yourself fully into a job that is going to be too demanding at a set point in your life when you have other demands – in my case, three children.
So it can be difficult on a day-to-day basis, work/life balance. But overall, if you're managing to work and be happy with what you're doing and you're managing to spend time with your family and be happy with them, you've achieved some level of work/life balance, which I hope I have.
ANNE
To me, feeling you have enough time for both aspects of your life. So you've got time to do a good job and feel you're doing everything you need in your job without rushing out, but also that you're not just home manically doing housework, cooking, looking after the kids, but you do have a bit of time for yourself as well. I think that's one really nice thing about working, is you get a lunch hour, and so you have time for yourself. You can do whatever you like, where if you're home with the kids, you don't get that downtime.
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