When I stepped onto the plane in February I had little experience in balancing the busyness of work with the demand for downtime. Added on top of this was the additional struggle of moving to a city that I knew no one – and had no established life.
However, when I landed it took me three days to find something that was going to help that. Before I left I found an AFL club called the North London Lions – and little did I know they were going to become my home away from home in London. It combined the necessities I needed after moving; a social life, general exercise and a place where I could use others as a sounding board for my life troubles, (being a club of predominantly expatriates, they knew the struggle I was going through).
The topic of the club has often come up at work and a discussion with my manager Natasha highlighted the importance of establishing good work life balances early on in my career. By doing this early on, I would be assisting myself in the future, as the demand for my time will only increase.
When I’m not at work, studying, or playing football, I’ve found myself travelling the surrounding countries in Europe. Travel is often something that is undervalued as experience when applying for jobs. The insight you gain when you travel, particularly travelling alone, is far greater than any textbook can teach you. It adds to your employability – showing the intuition, independence and awareness that you can gain from travelling in the workplace.
Experiencing different cultures allows you to use a different lens when working on a business problem, or approaching any situation at work – the same way it changes your perspective on life in general. Being able to provide this additional angle on situations is a skill you can’t practice without experiencing different situations – and travelling provides this.
Whilst the transition has been anything but smooth sailing, the attitude I’ve tried to have towards balancing work and life I think has helped me with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and juggling what could’ve been a very heavy workload.