Archive January 2017 XVIII, No. 1

Work-Life Balance

Forget money and stress. When it comes to job satisfaction, nothing matters more than being able to juggle the demands of a career and a personal life.

Jim Burger

Jim Burger, Senior Editor


work-life balance

You don't care how many hours you work, you're satisfied with your pay and you eat stress for breakfast. The bottom line is that you really like — or even love — your job, in spite of the pressure and the demanding schedule, and regardless of your tax bracket. That said, a few other factors in your professional life have the potential to seriously dampen your enthusiasm.

Those are just a few of the takeaways from this year's Outpatient Surgery salary survey. The good news? More than three-fourths of our readers say they're happy with what they do. That's as opposed to the less than 1 in 10 who feel the job is more frustrating than rewarding, or that in retrospect, they wish they'd chosen a different career path.

But there are issues to consider — ones that can bring people down, maybe the people you manage. Among the biggest is a lack of satisfying work-life balance. Here, your responses speak volumes. Among respondents who say they're satisfied with (or downright enthusiastic about) their work-life balance, 86% say they either like or love what they do for a living. But those who say their work-life balance is out of whack tell a different story. When work overwhelms any possibility of a satisfying outside life, only 47% say they "like or love" their job, and the tone can become one of desperation.

"I haven't had a vacation in 18 months," says the administrator of a Northeastern surgery center. "I am at my breaking point. It does no good to have 5 or 6 weeks of time off available if there is no time to take it." A charge nurse at a Texas hospital says she's caught in a never-ending cycle of misery: "I go home tired and hungry, never get an uninterrupted lunch break and lay awake at night with work issues still spinning in my head," she says. "Then I go to work tired, and it starts all over again."

Finding Personal and Professional Harmony

Surgical facility leaders who have a satisfactory life outside of work tend to be much happier at work, according to our salary survey. Notice the sharp divide in job satisfaction between those who are and those who aren't satisfied with their work-life balance.

How do you feel about your job?
Those satisfied with work-life balance
Those not satisfied with work-life balance
I love what I do.
I like it. Most days are good.
It has its ups and downs.
It's more frustrating than rewarding.
If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.

Source: Outpatient Surgery Magazine Reader Survey, December 2016, n=675

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