August 28, 2013

Work-Life Balance Online Resources

Student Doctor Network – a nonprofit organization comprised of students in pre-health and health professions, including clinical psychology. This web-based forum allows students to initiate and participate in discussions in their field. Within the Psychology forum, topics such as internship, dissertation, finding a post-doc, and even balancing school and home life have been discussed. Joining is free:

Lifehack – an online weblog of “life hacks” – or easy tips for productivity and other important areas of life. Each “hack” is a short blog about a topic. Topic categories include productivity, lifestyle, and communication, among others.

Getting Things Done by David Allen – in this book, David Allen introduces a “work-life management system” that is very intuitive and easy to implement and maintain. This system targets the management of commitments, information, and communication, and allows you greater focus in each area of your life.

Look locally – are there faculty members, practicum supervisors, professionals, or even other graduate students that you admire or who look like they “have it all together”? Consider approaching them to discuss how they manage to achieve success while maintaining a healthy balance with other aspects of their lives. Creating a panel of such individuals who are willing to share their experiences and advice could be an invaluable resource to graduate students.

Mother in Science – 64 Ways to Have It All – this unique document produced in the UK shows that there is no one path to achieving work-life balance when it comes to being a scientist and a mother. Each page consists of a timeline showing the scientist’s research career on one side and important events in her family life on the other.

How to Survive and Thrive in the Mother-Mentor Marathon – this article contains excellent tips on how to balance motherhood and academia, but the principles are applicable to anyone seeking work-life balance.

Landing a Family-Friendly Post –for those on the market for post-docs and faculty jobs, this article discusses how to assess the work-life balance culture at the institutions at which you interview. There are also tips on how to prepare in advance for taking leave after having a baby.

Negotiating for the Job You Want – most people don’t think of job negotiations as a work-life balance issue, but if you’re able to negotiate for teaching/clinical/service responsibilities, lab space, and start-up money that will allow you to more easily be successful in your new job, your personal life will benefit immensely. Some great NIH tips:

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