May 05

The more you work, the more you make. It’s a simple concept. But working too much can cause stress for you and your family. Stress can lead to poor job performance and can cause or worsen certain medical conditions. And long periods away from home can mean that you miss important family milestones and are unable to contribute to household maintenance.

The key is finding a balance between the need to make money and the need to stay connected with friends and family.

Conventional wisdom may tell us to work as hard as we can to make every dime possible, but sometimes making less money can lead to a happier, more fulfilling lifestyle (129 KB PDF). What’s most important is finding the schedule that works the best for you and your family.

Experts in work-life balance recommend figuring out what is most important to you, and organizing your personal and professional life around those activities. For a trucker, that may mean working a route that keeps you at home on Sundays to attend church with your family. Or it may mean ditching the higher-paying route for one that keeps you at home more often so that you can help out around the house.

When you are away from home for long periods of time, it’s important to continue to nurture your relationships with friends and family at home. Some technologies, such as video chat, can help you stay in touch with your family as well. However you keep in touch, it’s important to communicate open and honestly with your family to avoid conflicts and to maintain a positive relationship.

But time off is only one part of work-life balance — job satisfaction is also very important. Monster.com recommends finding out everything you can about a trucking company before going to work for them, including how they measures time off, how comfortable the trucks are, what benefits they offer, what incentives they offer, and how morale is among the drivers.

Do you have any advice for maintaining balance between work and life? Share them in the comments below.

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