Workers everywhere are on a grind. Whether it’s a 12-hour work day at some startups or a six-day work week at other companies, many employees in competitive professions are expected to be ready and willing to work long hours. Add a side hustle into the equation, and work-life balance goes out the window.
This rigorous schedule becomes even more daunting for women, who because of traditional gender roles take on much of the responsibility of the child and elderly care in their families. A recent Bustle Trends Group survey of 283 women found that almost half of respondents felt they “currently lacked work-life balance.” 39.6% said they had left a former position because of that imbalance.
Pile on a second, third or even fourth job and the stress keeps coming. 26.5% of respondents said they worked more than one job. 6% worked three or more. Those numbers far outpace the nationally accepted standard that only 5% of working Americans have multiple jobs.
So what are women to do if they want some semblance of work-life balance? Well luckily, their peers have recommendations.
“There can be a lot of pressure to stay late or always be available, but in my current jobs I’ve set boundaries early, and reinforce them often,” one respondent to the Bustle survey said. This advice directly addresses the problem that (likely) another woman pointed out.
“I was in a new job that had a company culture of who could stay the latest,” she told Bustle. “It led to burnout.”
Choose your side hustle carefully
13% of Bustle’s respondents felt pressured or unbalanced because of their side hustles. But instead of driving for Uber or tutoring, one woman told Bustle about how her side gig was actually meaningful — and led to something more. “I had it for years while working full time as a way of being able to get out of my 9-5 eventually. Got laid off this fall and am finding ways to make the side hustle into my full-time,” she said.
Make time for yourself
“I base extra work off my schedule,” one woman told Bustle. “So if there’s something that needs to get done, I will do it after dinner or a workout if I have it scheduled.”
Another woman said, “I literally don’t check my email over the weekend.”
While that last approach may be a little extreme, you have to do what’s right for your health and career. Only you know what that is. But if you’re stressed about work-life balance, you obviously aren’t the only one. And if you’re looking for advice from people who have been through this before, there are clearly plenty of women who are willing to share their wisdom.