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How to find work-life balance while advancing your career

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One of the most ingrained problems for young professionals is the famous balance between family and professional life. Many traditional business models commended the employee who put in the most hours at the office and was the most available for company needs, viewing the lack of work-life balance as ambition to succeed. 

And while this model still exists in some places, globalisation and diversification of the workforce is rapidly changing the way enterprises do business. Giving space for workers of different genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds a voice at the table not only gives new opportunities to those who couldn’t have them in the past, but also provides fresh, creative, and innovative ideas for growing business

Balance between personal life and career remains a challenge

Even though companies are becoming flexible to employee needs more than ever before, taking care of a family remains a huge undertaking, requiring an enormous amount of time, money, and resources. Of course it’s also incredibly rewarding, but modern family units often find themselves in conflict over the balance between family and professional life. 

This problem affects all career professionals with their own family, but it’s especially significant for women in the workforce. 

A survey completed by the PEW research center on work-life balance found that over a quarter of working professionals (27%) said being a working parent had made it harder for them to advance in their job or career. The number is much higher for women, rising to over 50% for working mothers with kids under 18.

Options for professionals with families

There’s no easy answer or quick fix, but professionals with families do have a few main options for finding a balance: 

  1. Choose family first. The first option is to simply accept that there is a cap on career progression. You can choose to focus on your current (or soon to be) family, and accept that this decision might come at the expense of long-term advancements in your career. 
  2. Dive head-first into your career. Alternatively, you can decide to keep focus on your career above all else. You can choose to invest in the prospects that your current career path has to offer by going the extra mile and climbing the corporate ladder, or by enrolling into full-time postgraduate programmes to make your curriculum competitive. This option, however, often requires the sacrifice of stable relationships and quality time with your close friends and family.
  3. Find balance between family and professional life. The third option, while tricky, can be accomplished. One way to advance your career and build your family simultaneously is through online education alternatives, which are much more flexible than their in-person counterparts. A career cap is no longer inevitable with access to online executive education.

Finding compromise in work-life balance with online education

While it might seem difficult, it is in fact possible to both raise a family and make advancements in your career. For ambitious individuals who do not want to hit a professional plateau, a good work-life balance can often be found in the flexibility offered by online coursework.

Exploring the world of online degrees can sometimes feel like a can of worms. The offers from limitless programmes all over the world can easily become overwhelming, with each programme making promises as to what they can offer you. 

That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of the programme specifics you’re looking for. With so many online options available in our current environment, it’s important to consider all aspects of a programme, including: 

  • class size
  • resources available
  • quality of the professors
  • technology
  • course format
  • cost

Some courses are provided completely online, or in an asynchronous format. This means that all of the materials can be studied at your own pace, with assignments being scheduled at specific intervals. This approach, while offering the ultimate flexibility, can often lack structure and interactive content with other students and professors. 

There are also courses which require real-time online presence for all classes. These programmes, while saving you the need to be at a specific physical location, are significantly more time intensive in that they require availability at specific times throughout the day. The time commitment is not much different than that of a traditional in-person programme.

EDHEC Online: the best of both worlds 

The programmes at EDHEC are already long-established for their high quality. Teaching methods are specifically adapted to online instruction, with human elements incorporated in all parts of the coursework. Three-quarters of the course can be done outside of fixed times, maximizing the flexibility of the programmes.

 EDHEC understands the needs of its students: live classes are available on replay, and students are given a set pace to help them stay organised, but there are no punitive measures if a student needs a deadline extension. 

Programmes such as the Advanced Strategic Management certification can be completed in as little as 35 hours of instruction, providing specific, in-depth and high-level corporate training.

If you’re looking for something with both the flexibility and the quality to help you grow both your career and your family, take a look at the rest of EDHEC’s online programmes.