It's not surprising to PR pros to see ‘PR manager’ regularly listed among the top ten most stressful jobs in the world. Many professionals seem to accept their fate, knowing that when it comes to work-life balance, the latter takes a back seat to the former. But here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. Despite all the stress, deadlines and pressures, it is possible to maintain a healthy balance. Ironically, you just have to work towards it!
This initially sounds like a paradox but a good starting point would be to look at who is responsible for ensuring people have a healthy work-life balance. While companies do hold some responsibility (considering job adverts nowadays almost always highlight a “good work-life balance” as a workplace benefit) we sometimes forget that it doesn’t sit exclusively with them. Employees have to take the initiative in creating this balance too, especially when it comes to working overtime.
It would, of course, be delusional to think that working in PR will ever just be a 9-to-5 job. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be a 24/7 one either. Due to the nature of our profession, which so heavily relies on breaking news and shaping current public discussions, this will simply never be possible. That being said, we need to take control of our own working hours and, consequently, of our own work-life balance. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to draw the line somewhere and stick to it. If we don’t, no one else will for us and the elusive work-life balance will remain just that. Elusive.
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