Finding the right balance

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Keith A. Tareco
  • 908th Airlift Wing
There have been many times in my 15 years as a Traditional Reservist that I have found difficulty balancing my military and civilian life. With both sides I am always dealing with a constant challenge of having to find new ways to balance the two.

Most of the time though, it is no fault of either party but my lack of communication or poor planning. This usually happens when you know you need to take additional time for additional duties, PMEs, or find out you are going to be tasked with a deployment.

Communicating the needs of one to the other is sometimes the hardest thing to do in these situations.

I feel this lack of communication is due to the fact that we don't want our military career to have a negative impact in our personal or civilian life. We need to be upfront  informing our significant others and employers of our career goals, timelines and expectations. With the demanding tempo put on today's military members, we need to be open and honest with our family, friends and employers. 

In life, you should always be ready for the unexpected and have a plan to get you through. I do not think there is a perfect method or any one single technique for balancing your life. The key is finding out what is most important to you between your career and  personal life and prioritizing it in your daily schedule.

Work-life balance is about finding the best way to juggle all the things that need to be accomplished in our life. Don't be afraid of asking for support from supervisors, coworkers, friends and family. Make time showing your family you care about them. Give yourself a buffer between things and it is really important to take personal time for the things you love to do.

Remember, always be open and honest with your communication; plan ahead and don't procrastinate!