Work/Life Balance for the Recent Grad

JMU 2006 “You build a successful career, regardless of your field of endeavor, by the dozens of little things you do on and off the job.”- Zig Ziglar

For my friends who are experiencing their first semester without returning to college and perhaps simultaneously experiencing the start to a new career, here are a couple of things to think about:

1. Yes, I still think about college around this time every year and I’m 3 years out. The feeling fades slowly, but, Back-to-School is always an exciting time of year.

2. For those starting their first job after college, you’ll be in a work/ career environment 40 hours a week, but what will you do with the other 128 hours?

We all go through a rough patch upon entering the “real world.” It’s tough. Monday through Friday, for what seems like every sun-lit hour, you’ll spend your time looking at a computer or scheduling meetings, or typing emails, or drafting reports etc.

My first step towards finding the positive in the “real world” was realizing that I would need to find a work/life balance. Wow. That’s a big undertaking for any 22 or 23 year old. I knew that I would have some decisions to make. How much would I involve myself with networking for work and how much time would be spent meeting up with old friends from college?

Finding the right balance isn’t easy. I have up and downs. Some weeks I’ll work late, some weeks I’ll leave at 5 on the dot. Other days, my mind moves between my career and my next big adventure outside of the office.

Monday through Friday is only as good as what you make of the whole week, in and an out of work.

Anyone doing something outside of work, please feel free to tell us about it. Kickball league, community service, a hobby…How do you find balance?


Mike Toner

Based in Alexandria, Virginia Michael is the Manager of Social Media at Navy Federal Credit Union. By evening, he's a husband, dog owner and runner. Toner writes about social media strategy, tools, training and best practices for social and digital marketing programs.


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