“Work-life balance” has become the latest buzz phrase in the work arena. So many people want to find that “sweet spot” between work and the rest of life. However, this becomes
particularly challenging when your work is to ensure the safety of
others. Sometimes it is easy to forget your own needs when your
job is to be at the service of everyone else. This article highlights
the importance of work-life balance in the fire service and provides
advice on how you can achieve it.
YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR JOB
Firefighters are humans too. You have a life outside of your shift.
You may have a family to spend time with, the Sunday ballgame to
catch, or a hobby to pursue. You may have that “staycation” with
Netflix that you have been wanting for such a long time. The point
is, even though you are in a career that is extremely vital to the
nation, you need balance just like everyone else. More importantly,
you need work-life balance.
So, what exactly is work-life balance? The definitions are as varied
as those who try to define the phrase, but there is consensus that it
is when work and the rest of life come together in a way that results
in the worker feeling fulfilled. With specific reference to firefighters,
it is when you can give the shift all it deserves while still being able
to serve yourself in your own time so that your needs are taken care
of. Ultimately, work-life balance is found when the humanity of the
firefighter is not diminished by serving humanity.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Gail Kinman, professor of occupational health psychology at the
University of Bedfordshire and co-chair of the British Psychological
Society (BPS) Working Group for Work-life Balance, UK, is one
of the foremost experts on work-life balance. Her research focuses
inthe Fire Service