Forget Work-Life Balance: Here's how to find alignment in your transition.

G.I. Jobs Magazine
Eric Brew
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Suppose I asked you to balance on one foot. How long do you think you could sustain that? What about riding a bike with no hands? How long can you keep that going?

As I navigated my transition, I heard people talk about “work-life balance,” which made sense. I had given so much to my career over the span of a 25-year career that finding some life in life sounded terrific!

However, the more I pondered the topic, the more confused I became. I had questions like, “What does work-life balance really mean? Is it that work and life are balanced?” I couldn’t see how work and life balanced...anywhere. And, if they could balance, why does the average American spend a third of their life at work? If life and work were truly balanced, enjoying my life would pay the bills and keep a roof over my family’s heads. But that’s just not reasonable, is it?

So why do we veterans frequently identify and cling to buzzwords and phrases like this? Is it because, if you’re like me, one or more of your children only had you home for 11 months out of their entire high school career? Or is it because you’ve spent countless holidays, birthdays and anniversaries away from your family as a service member? Or is it that we think we’ll find some utopia in civilian life where work and life meet like the beautiful ocean scene meeting white sandy beaches?

I encourage you to stop looking for balance and strive  for ALIGNMENT! Alignment  allows you to naturally navigate  the other stressors in life while  mitigating the stress at work  because you’re fulfilled. “That sounds great, Eric, but  how do I identify those things?  How do I find those types of  opportunities? Whom do I ask?  Whom can I talk to?” 

Here are the steps I have  taken to find alignment in my  professional life. 

  1. Seek out organizations  and companies that align with your personal  core values. 
  2. Identify an organizational  culture that aligns with your professional needs  and desires. 
  3. Find a position that  aligns with your skills, abilities, talents, and career growth goals.

So, what’s my first step? My advice is to align yourself with a mentor to help you find a sustainable future through alignment at the right company, position and salary! American Corporate Partners offers 1-year-long, one-on-one customized mentorship with career professionals who are hand matched by career or industry interest and a plethora of other demographic criteria at NO COST to the transitioning service member, veteran or military spouse!