Work Life Balance
Make no mistake about it, when you get involved in the STEM fields, and cyber security in particular, the demands on your time will increase. The reason for this is that there is a huge gap between what is done and what needs doing in the IT departments of the business community. In fact, according to some reports there are tens of thousands of cyber security jobs that are currently unfilled, which means of course that there is a lot of work that needs to be done out there to protect an organization’s assets from hackers.
These thousands of unfilled positions are a golden opportunity for women, not only because of the vacancies, but also due to the fact that cyber security is still in many ways in its infancy and the ‘rules’ are still being drawn. However, women entering the field need to carefully monitor ‘Balance of Work-Life’.
Too often we throw ourselves into our new jobs in an effort to prove ourselves, which is understandable since we do want to carve out a niche in the new field. As we commit ourselves to the job we do need to keep the recommendations of medical professionals in mind. First, schedule some downtime for yourself and do what you would ‘like’ to do. There is an old saying that ‘all work and no play’… leads to burnout. Next, cut the dead wood from your life and drop those things and people that drag you down. You have enough to do without engaging in activities or dealing with people that you don’t really need to deal with. Next, combine your daily tasks to free up more of your time…pick up the dry cleaning on your way to the grocery store and gas up the car on the way as well. And while you are at it (budget permitting) see if you can find someone to mow your lawn, trim your shrubs, and deliver your dry cleaning. Exercise. Simple word, hard to find time for it. But give it your best effort and make time for a simple exercise routine or yoga. Physical activity can help to clear your brain, increase your stamina and give you more energy. Finally, learn to relax. Find the time after work or even during a break at work to take a quiet walk, read a little in your favorite book or just sit outside and enjoy a sunny day.
It is a good feeling to work hard and give yourself a feeling of accomplishment, but not at the risk of losing your physical and mental health. Strike a workable balance between your work life and your home life. And … from time to time reflect on what you are doing and make the appropriate changes to get that balance where it should be.