Fast Company: Challenging John Challenger: Right about “Balance,” Wrong about Work+Life Fit

John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement firm, was recently quoted as saying, “Holding on to your job right now is more important for many than getting more work/life balance…This is not the right time to be negotiating those sorts of things.”

With regard to “balance,” I agree with Challenger.  This is not the time to being talking to your employer about balance.  Why?  Because all your employer will hear is “I want to work less,” even if what you want is to work differently by telecommuting or shifting your hours.  Regardless, in today’s economic climate, any discussion of balance could be misinterpreted as not being willing to go the extra mile.  And we all need to go the extra mile.

Here’s where Mr. Challenger and I disagree:  I believe that, now more than ever, we all need to actively and consciously manage our work+life “fit” so that we bring the best of ourselves to a difficult situation.

When times get tough, many of us work harder, longer or faster thinking it will save our job.  This may work in the short-term, but ultimately we’ll burnout and start the downward spiral of working harder, getting burned out, having less energy, becoming unproductive, so we work even harder and on and on.

Strategically managing your work+life fit, means you work and manage your personal responsibilities smarter and better.  Here are three tips for managing your work+life fit in a way that meets your needs as well as the needs of your employer during the economic downturn:  (Click here for more)