Name: Praveen Sridharan
Studied: Sustainable Energy Technology
Trainee year: 2018
Being an adult can be difficult. Balancing social life, personal aims and aspirations, relationships, finances, hobbies and work is quite a task. After all you only have 24 hours in a day, unless you are a time-traveler. And thus the quest for balancing becomes vital. The term work-life balance itself is quite strange, if you come to think of it. It promotes the notion that your life is something different and disassociated with work. It could also mean that the life in the term work-life means personal life. In any case, it purports the necessity to distinguish both. I come from a school of thought that is a bit different. I try not to distinguish, and in essence I make work a part of my life. I see it as within. But how does that work?
My life (including the 8 hours I spend at work) has a lot in it. I play a lot of football (3x a week), run a climate change initiative, write blogs/poetry apart from the usual stuff that all of us do (go out, travel, read, etc). The key is to not strive for balance, but to let yourself flow into it. This is where not categorizing your life into two boxes – work and life – helps. For example, when I have football planned on say, Monday, I leave work early and head to the fields. If I came from the school of thought where work meant the time you spend at office, I would find it a) difficult to leave what I am doing and go play and b) not wish to come back to it later in the evening if needed. This is key, I believe. To be able to understand that by not having distinct shifts between both, you give yourself the flexibility to be able to explore multiple options and still satisfy both your professional obligations and your personal ambitions. All the while, it is important to remember that your professional obligations are (and should) be part of your personal ambitions and trajectory. After all, if the work you are doing is not with the aim of also building yourself as a person and reaching the goals you made yourself, why do it?
Now comes the icing on the cake. It is all well and good that you choose not to make that distinction and as a result balance becomes a natural outcome and not a pursuit. But do your work conditions allow it? At NN, this is the most refreshing thing and the most rewarding for me personally. My work conditions give me the flexibility to be able to juggle my time in a way that there is no strict “you work from 9-5(6,7)” but emphasis is on “you work and we trust you to”. Note that this does not mean you just show up and leave whenever, but the idea is to foster responsibility. And the great thing about responsibility is that the more you have of it, the more freedom you get. Weird isn’t it?
Do you want to know more, or do you have any questions? Feel free to contact me at Praveen.Sridharan@nn-group.com.
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