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HOW TO ACHIEVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN THE AD INDUSTRY

Ever Been To The Circus?

You know, the one in an oversized tent that smells like the back end of a public restroom off some highway. As a child, I've been to a few, and though it never really piqued my interest, the juggling clowns did amuse me. I mean, how could a clown juggling balls and bowling pins be something I’d pay to watch?

Fast-forward 30 years and that image of a juggling clown could not be more apt a description of my life. I've become the amusing protagonist and the whole juggling act is me trying to maintain some semblance of work-life balance. Now, you might put that down to becoming an ‘adult’, but I believe those of us in the industry encounter unconventional challenges that many others do not face. For one, our industry is fluid, and by that, I mean our working hours are never fixed, unlike 9-5 jobs.

There is no mathematical solution to how work and life are equally split without one seeming to have greater importance than the other, and at the end of the day, it boils down to each individual. It is unfortunate that it took a global pandemic to force us to rethink the way we worked, but WFH (Working From Home) has allowed us to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Vacuuming the house during a lunch break is now possible. Not having to face peak hour traffic or congested public transport saves time, time that can be spent with the family.

Before my daughter was born, work was all I focused on, and maybe a little partying. But becoming a father changed everything. It did not mean my career took a backseat, but rather, it meant prioritising a ‘balance’ between work and family.

As a husband and father, I want to provide the best for my family. Being a present professional doesn’t need to mean being an absent parent. This industry can be challenging. We live by deadlines. There are numerous times when last-minute or urgent work keeps you in the office after-hours or working late into the night at home. But the balance comes in knowing what and when to prioritise. We can’t change the industry, so it’s down to us to make it work. Perhaps, I was wrong… the circus is worth paying for after all. The clown playbook may just be what we all need to find that balance.

RUPEN DAVID MANNAR