Why I Never Give Up On My Work

I can’t say I’ve been through a hard break up like many before me, but after my husband recently became a dad, all my confidence began to fade. The same thoughts were going through my head over and over: “If I could just get out of here and find…

As a therapist, I’ve had a lot of personal and professional success. But I’ve always heard a common refrain by my clients: “What if my depression goes away? Why does my work still matter?”

This quote sums up the importance of having a work-life balance: “Having a work-life balance means that your life is a work in progress. You can’t plan for tomorrow. You have to try.

You have to take chances. You have to take advantage of what you’ve got.” ~Michael Jordan

It isn’t impossible to balance two careers, but it is extremely difficult. I’ll admit I have been struggling in both areas at times. I’ve struggled to balance my professional work and my personal life as of late.

My work-life balance takes many forms: I’ve been the type to leave work early and find time in the evenings to play golf, tennis, travel and write. (I think I only need one more shot.) I can work in my home office and have time to exercise, read and socialize.

I’ve also struggled with balancing two “life” commitments at the same time. I have a full-time job and my other “main” job is at a non-profit that is very demanding. It requires a lot of travel, a lot of work and being active outside of the office. I don’t get to go home in the evening and unwind.

It’s a tough balance, but I have had a few success stories. Some of my friends have a job where they both take an equal share of time off work. Others take a lot of time off work to work on their personal projects, go out to dinner or do something completely different from work. Some people take time off only twice a year. Still others will take 10 or 15 days off in the summer to do something completely different like a rock climbing trip or camping trip. I’m grateful to those people, but I also feel as though I owe it to my clients to be present and be presentable at all times.

I’ve written before on how important life balance is to professional success. As an artist, I need to maintain a balance between work and personal life and, honestly, it is a tough balance for some.

But you have to understand where you’re at. Do I really want to stop doing what I’m doing which will be my full-time job? How will it be a more pleasant and successful option to give up my day job and go solo on my other self-driven ventures, but still continue to work and earn some money to support myself?

Is it worth it if a certain aspect of my art career is harmed in the process?

You may think your creative work is really just for your personal enjoyment. But your personal life is your life. You need to be in balance. You need to be comfortable being different from day to day. If you can’t, you’re not going to succeed.

Be flexible and adapt to your life right now.

If it is your dream job, go for it. As an artist, you want to make a living for yourself. I have had to sacrifice a lot of friendships and projects to stay in this industry, so I’d rather sacrifice a little time for something which I like more personally if that’s what you want…

But also…

Don’t forget about the people you know. I know my work has allowed me to build more professional relationships than I normally would have.