bergman on 23 Sep 2011 13:07:13 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Jobs with Work-Life Balance??

In the message dated: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:17:34 EDT,
The pithy ruminations from Dan Perez on 
<[PLUG] Jobs with Work-Life Balance??> were:
=> Hi all,
=> Sorry, I'm just a little stressed out and need to blow off a little
=> steam.  Are there any unix/linux admin jobs out there with a good work

No problem...this is a good place to blow off steam.

=> life balance?  I've been getting killed in my job for years and years

Hmmm....we each have different definitions of 'balance', and those change over
time. The work conditions & hours that I put up with 20 years ago aren't as
appealing now.

As an industry, IT support is known for both being a high-pressure, high-time
environment, and known for having employees who often use the amount that they
work as a badge of honor.

This has been discussed many, many times on the SAGE & LOPSA lists
(and you may find support there as well).

=> now.  But, at least, I had the option of working from home once in a

What did "working from home" mean in terms of "time with
family"? Personally, I find working from home occassionally to be very
productive, but I also end up being rigid about not spending 'time with
family' when working from home. The benefit for me is that being more
productive means I may have less work to do from the office, leading to
more personal time after working from home.

=> while and my supervisor was a little flexible about hours.  However,
=> we just got reorged and the work load is not going to go down but the
=> working from home and all has been killed.  Argh!

Hmmm... I wonder if this has anything to do with that decision:

=> Is it possible to achieve the dream of doing unix/linux work and
=> spending time with the family?

Sure. First of all, if you don't already have a copy, immediately get
a copy of Tom Limoncelli's excellent book "Time Management for System
Administrators" & read it. If you do have a copy, read it again. Rinse &

Consider your own habits & work/life balance. How much of the pressure
is employer initiated, how much is due to personal inefficiencies in
work habits, and how much is self-directed (often because the work is
challenging and stimulating)?

What does "spending time with the family" mean to you? It's different for
each person, of course, and a metric of 'hours/week' isn't necessarily
a good measurement.

For example, I happen to be in a job now that's lower-pressure than
almost any I've had in the last 12 years, but I work at least as many
hours as ever.  That's largely self-directed. However, over the years I've
realized some things about work/life balance and 'time with family'. I'm
far from perfect, and my compromises may not work for anyone else,
but the net effect is that I make more of my time away from work and
have a better balance of my personal life, while still working way too
much. That's not to say I don't [often] chide myself for working too much,
but overall, the situation is good.

Good luck!


=> Thanks
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