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How to Enhance Your Career for Your Family's Benefit

by Eve Anderson, Sponsored Posts

The work that you've put into your career thus far may have led you to a decent salary and a rewarding job. However, many workers have found that recent world events have us wondering if the hours that we're putting in away from our families are worth it. A career that effectively supports your family without taking you from it for too long can be hard to find.

Optimize Your Schedule

The ability to work from home for at least part of the week can be a wonderful gift for working parents. If your employer doesn't offer such flexibility, it's time to push for it. This push may put you at the front of a large cultural change for your organization.

Being a change leader will take courage. You may ultimately find that finding a new employer is a better option than serving as a change test case for your company. Do make sure that you are also promoting what you're doing for your company's bottom line. Offering the chance to work from home to most if not all employees will increase the marketability of your organization. Your hard work is going to benefit your company.

Lock In Great Benefits

Your children and spouse are going to need quality

  • Insurance

  • Daycare

  • Savings Plans

Look for an employer that offers a flexible benefits program that you can use to lower your taxable income. With the right plan, you can cover medical expenses and daycare costs with pre-tax income. As your children grow, you can boost your flex savings to cover braces, glasses, and other known costs. Do make sure to use up those dollars before the year ends.

Find Work That is Salary Plus Commission

Having a family means that finding time for a side hustle can be a big challenge. Working for a salary plus commission among part-time or temp agencies like ICS careers is a terrific way to bump up your base income.

Commissioned employees can struggle to manage fluctuating income. If you and your spouse are both employed, it can be helpful to set up a budget that allows you to live on just the salary income that both of you can count on.

Put those commission checks toward items and funds that can protect your family from future uncertainties. Start your emergency fund. Pay down your debts. Save for a new vehicle so you can pay cash and have a better-negotiating position. The sooner your debts are paid off, the sooner you can start to build up college funding for your family.

Boost Your Knowledge

As your career expands, look for training that will make you a more impactful employee. Study up on the challenges that your industry is facing and direct your training goals to cover those issues before they cut into the bottom line.

If you have an onerous task that could be simplified with a better spreadsheet design, boost your Excel skills. If you're a great verbal communicator but struggle to write, get in the habit of reading all your communications out loud. Do your very best to present your knowledge clearly to your clients and your co-workers.

Consider also improving your soft skills. If you're always late, set up personal rewards for getting out the door on time. If your desk is a catastrophe, do the work to tidy it before you go home each day. If you know that your ability to think creatively is not great in the afternoon, block out time in the morning for problem-solving. Yes, interpersonal skills are part of the soft skills craze. However, making the best use of your brain power is another soft skill that can make you a better family member and a better employee.

Set Boundaries

Set a quitting time and be done. Don't bring work home that will expand into the whole weekend. Block out time for family and friends. Have breakfast with your children or bring home a dessert to share with your spouse.

If your employer doesn't allow you boundaries without some serious payback, it's time to look elsewhere. The catchphrase "work-life balance" is a lie; work minus life does not equal balance. Step up in a crunch, but don't carry your employer out of holes created by under-staffing.


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