Work – Life Balance vs. Personal Fulfillment

Joining a new company? Eager to start your first day at work? Stuck doing over times in a work place that you don’t appreciate? Most of us have already gone through this cycle and if you haven’t yet, I suggest you give it a try first so you can understand what this post is all about.

A year ago, during the weekend, I found myself still remembering the after taste of meetings, telephone calls, urgent priorities and matters to attend to at work. Then at the end of the day I would gather my thoughts and sit down at my desk to check if I’ve done a satisfactory work. I was the kind of dude who would look forward to another night at the gym, drinking with friends or just spending a romantic night with my partner. Somewhere along the road I asked myself if this is the kind of life I would be doing over and over again. With a little nudge from other people, I realized this isn’t the only path available to me and that it’s necessary for me and everyone else to always ask that important question; do you feel fulfilled with your life right now?

You see there’s this one thing that corporate HR or managers do to make sure they keep their employees happy and in turn keep the business going. They usually pitch the all famous liner, ‘it’s important to practice a healthy work – life balance. Most of the time it works…. that is until the employee finds themselves going through the motions. Personally, I have a bone to pick with work – life balance. After learning to question this practice, I’ve found a lot of loop holes which always lead to the topic of personal fulfillment. You see, the more personal fulfillment you have, the less tense the relationship will be between your work and life.

So, how can you find more fulfillment with you career goals?  Here are a few pointers to get you started.

  • Write down everything that is important to you (or, if easier, write down things that drive you crazy). You will find that the opposite of what drives you crazy is usually what you value. These values will serve as a guide for you throughout life. Now review your top values and consider how your current job and career goal align with them. If they aren’t aligned, then take the necessary steps to put yourself on the right direction. You are personally accountable for your own work – life fulfillment. Look for opportunities where there may be more alignment. The more alignment between your values and career, the more fulfilled you will be. The less aligned, the more dissonance.
  • Get rid of the concept that there is a separate work life and “real” life, you’ll find that it becomes much easier to manage both. Whatever you are prioritizing in the moment, be fully present. Multi-tasking reduces effectiveness and performance. Don’t expect to be great at everything every day. Remember that career fulfillment takes time and a lot of patience.
  • If you find yourself irritated at the lack of results, then just take a break and tune your sights on your goals again. If you’re stressed, reduce it by taking up exercise, enjoying hobbies or learning to relax and then go back to work. A wise person once told me that it is better to work smart, then to work hard.

I realize all these sound like ‘unreachable and hard to maintain’ type of ideas but honestly ask yourself if you’re happy stuck where you are or are you ready to invest in your better future. Let’s scrap work – life balance and replace it with WORK AND LIFE FULLFILLMENT

Realizing your dream

Imagine yourself back in your first year in college, packed with all those dreams of your future and thinking you’re on the right track of taking the course that will teach you how to achieve said dream. Now come back to the present and check if you’re on the right track. If you are, well congratulations and I’m sure you still have a long way to go. But if you’re not, just keep reading and let’s see if I can inspire you to re-evaluate yourself.

I know you’ve got all these dreams and passions packed inside you and it’s just waiting to burst out and reveal itself, everybody does but not everyone realizes that it takes a lot of hard work to achieve them. Now who do you think should we blame for this? We can try to blame society, the education system, and our parents for this. But, the truth is, it’s our own fault. As a whole, we’ve all grown-up with idealized versions of what our future should look like without being fully prepared for the failures and hard work that come before the success. Remember, a person who’s never tried will never succeed

Some people blame their ‘boring’ or ‘lifeless’ lives on lack of talent, no time, money constraints and other limitations. But I’m here to tell you hard work and passion are the keys to overcoming these limitations. You just really need to want it badly and here’s how I believe you can do it too (based on collective research and life applications).


Own your career and not the other way around.

We see how companies control our pay, our benefits, and our well-being but I’m here to tell you that you’re the master of your own life and only you have the ability to steer the wheel. Will you simply listen and do whatever people say and be miserable or will you look beyond and follow what you feel is right?

Working a job but want to pursue a career that won’t pay well, YET!

Are you simple working a paying job? Stuck behind a desk and discontent? About to have another anxiety attack due to unsatisfied labor? I’m here to tell you there’s a place beyond where you are right now where you can pursue what you want while still working your current ‘job’. I call them; after work hours and weekends. Just as our professors back in college say that we shouldn’t limit ourselves inside a classroom, reading up on theories, the same thing still applies in the world of work. All you need is to properly organize your time after work which will still set you on the right track you want to be in.

Make time for your future.

No amount of words can help me keep on re-iterating this one sentence. If you can’t make time for the future you want then you really haven’t taken the first step yet.


Don’t let ignorance and limitations hurt your chances of realizing your true potential. There’s an opportunity here – you just need to madly chase and hold on to it!


Richard Balatbat

Recruiter and Aspiring Career Coach


Sure of your career but uncertain about your future?

As a recruiter and aspiring career coach, I’ve seen and help people with their career decisions. One aspect I’d like to take pride in is making sure my candidates will be happy with the direction they’re taking with their career.

I’d like to dedicate this post to all you college students out there. As someone who makes a living probing candidates for a job role, I still take time to make sure they’re making the right career choices they want.

You’ll find that this certain group is always keen and excited about their dreams. They’ve done their research but only to a certain degree because they know that there are professors and people who can teach them the rest. But if you’re part of the group that’s already figured out every aspect of what they want, well congratulations and I wish you best of luck. For those of you still uncertain just keep reading.

People say it’s easy to recruit fresh grads because they’re either desperate to get a paying job or are overly enthusiastic about their dream job, but I beg to differ. You will never find a bigger group of people who both know what they want and at the same time are uncertain of their future. Take it from me, I was on the same boat during college. I had no idea what career I wanted yet I knew that taking up a degree wouldn’t hurt my chances in getting a decent job. But one thing I did have a knack for was meeting new groups of people and learning from everything they have to offer, may it be personal, recreation or career related. Now as a practicing career coach, I want to provide the same chances and opportunities to those of you having a hard time figuring out your future. I make sure that I guide them properly through this transition as I personally find this a pivotal stage but not yet the tipping point of their life.

My possible suggestion for all you youngsters still in college is to not limit yourself to classroom theories and to make sure to invest part of your time in meeting groups with the same passion as yourself. Start practicing on the career you want while still young. Take the necessary steps and learn to have fun in chasing your prospect career.


Falling in love at a coffeehouse

It was just another night after classes in university. It was a rainy afternoon when I accompanied you to your club activities on campus. While you had your chorale activities to tend to, I was outside sitting on a bench just admiring the afternoon rain under a grey orange sky. We’ve been friends for two months and I’ve only started dating you five weeks ago and have already told you that I love you in our third week of dating. I sat there wondering what could have made me said that so soon in a dating stage. I’ve know myself to hold off for a month or two before I tell a lady I love her, but in the back of my head it just felt right. Two hours have passed with me still deep in thought while swatting the mosquitoes away and I realized I haven’t even started on my assignment for the next day. You came out of the club room, tired but happy and I invited you to the coffeehouse so I can finish my report.

After ordering our usual down at the coffeehouse we sat down at our usual spot and I took out my laptop to do my report. Halfway through my report, you started acting differently; more cute and clingy while trying to get my attention. I really wanted to just stop what I was doing and pinch your cheeks but I couldn’t because I enjoyed what you were doing. Finally done with my report we decided to head home and right when we got down the stairs outside the coffeehouse you grabbed my arm and pushed me against the fence and just kissed me. I didn’t know if I wanted to kiss you again or scream from the sudden pain inflicted on my behind by the pointy fence. After a couple of seconds you told me you’ve been thinking about how you felt about me for the past few days and how you’ve come to realize that you love me too.

Fast forward to five years, we’re still together although a thousand miles apart. I know we’ve had our ups and downs but that’s what made us stronger as a couple. To that special lady in my life, happy 5th anniversary and cheers to more years together.