If you are going to work at peak performance, then you need to think differently about your health and well-being. Or as Chris William’s, performance coach to partners in the magic circle and Big 4, puts it, “Alternative Asset Management”. Most of us will find ourselves working at full stretch on the journey to get to partner. In order to work at peak performance you need to feed your soul. So, what do we mean by feeding your soul, and how does this relate to buckets? “Many partners and potential partners completely marginalise all other areas of their life so their entire success is now their business success.” Chris Williams When people start their career in professional services, they can often become so immersed in their work (or the amount of chargeable hours they are required to complete) that they stop doing many of the things that they enjoyed, looking after their own health and wellbeing, and isolating themselves from their friends and family. I’m not just talking about the odd long working day here, but a significant shift in energy away from life outside of work. When times are tough at work, you need to be able to fall back on your life outside of work, to sustain you and keep you going until you get back on your feet. Your support team outside of work are there to help, as long as you have spent time nurturing those relationships. In our research for ‘How to make partner and still have a life‘, the phrase ‘sell your soul’ popped up numerous times. There is a definite perception and some might even say, belief, that within the professional services industry you have to sell your soul if you are ever going to make partner. We beg to disagree. Actually, in our view you need to ‘feed your soul’ if you are successfully going to make the transition and be happy and healthy as a partner. The choice is in your hands. “I started singing in a barber shop choir, as I realised that I had no life outside of work.” Myfanwy Neville, Partner, Berg Kapow Lewis LLP So, what is meant by feeding your soul? We all have 3 buckets.
For our long-term health and happiness, and ability to successfully absorb the slings and arrows of professional life, we all need to be regularly feeding these three buckets. Too often we only focus on the Career box and neglect the others; i.e. we sell our soul. The Relationships and Self boxes are very important for coping strategies and mechanisms to deal with the stress and the daily bumps in the road. Releasing the pressure of a tough day could be by going to the gym, sinking into a long hot bath or phoning a friend. If the Relationships and Self buckets are continually neglected, this is when mental ill health may begin to take root. However, you only typically have enough water to fill one bucket – and if you are going to balance out your buckets, i.e, feed your soul, you need to make sure you are sharing this water into the other two buckets. In other words, if you put 100% of your focus into your career bucket, the self and relationship bucket will suffer. Before you read any more of this blog post, take a moment to stop and think and answer these questions:
- How full are your Career, Relationships and Self buckets?
- Are you over-investing in one bucket at the expense of the others?
- What could you do now to balance out your investment in your three buckets?
This blog post is taken from ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. If this blog post has been helpful, and you want to find out how to keep your body working at peak performance, buy a copy of How to make partner and still have a life. Author Credit: Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the ‘Go To Expert’. I am the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life‘ and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking‘. To find out whether I can help you, have a look at “our services” Connect with me on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter