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Managing Your Career & Personal Life: Is There Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.374.1 - 4.374.4

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Jerry W. Samples

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3675

Managing Your Career and Your Personal Life: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Jerry W. Samples University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Abstract There is no single answer to this age-old question, but one answer is “yes, if balance in life is achieved”. Everyone who experiences the rush of the tenure years hopes that life after tenure will be more reasonable after the first measure of success has passed. But, success breeds success, and the natural desire to be successful often becomes the driving function that leads to more success. A career filled with hundreds of publications and no relationships often leaves life unfulfilled. Our lives need balance, and each of us must determine what balance works. In their book, Teaching Engineering, Wankat and Oreovicz1 discuss personal management. In chapter two they include stress and personal health as important considerations for those in academe. They discuss efficiency in research and teaching as ways to allow for more free time. It is important to the reader that an early chapter is dedicated to the issue of balance. Yes, there must be balance in our lives. This paper discusses the things that need to be balanced along with the distractions that lead to imbalance. It discusses goal setting and planning as the best ways to keep the balance, since it is balance that allows for success in both career and personal life. Balance

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,2 Stephen R. Covey urges professionals not to neglect important personal areas such as health, family, professional preparation, or personal development. He argues that the price of success should never be a broken marriage, ruined health or weakness in personal character. This level of sacrifice far exceeds the payoff in the long run. Efficient use of time and the development of a balanced way of life can reduce this level of sacrifice. One must try to obtain balance and at times, take time to renew the one’s natural balance. Each of us has a "Fire Within"3 that drives us to greater achievement. Each of us wants to leave a legacy; some "proof" that we existed and that we did well. The desire to create the legacy is driven by the “Fire Within”; but balance in our lives must be maintained so that the fire continuously burns. The four dimensions of personal renewal include the physical, the mental, the social/emotional and the spiritual. The time required to renew each dimension often succumbs to the demands of the profession and individual weakness; renewal is not accomplished. Unless balance is achieved, the natural way of things is disorder and disorder leads to inefficiency in every aspect of life.

Distractions from Achieving Balance This is the easy part to identify because many professors find reasons not to do the things that are included in renewal. There is research to complete. There is a paper that must be written, or a book that has been promised. There is the heavy teaching load and the problems associated with dealing with students. There are committees, foundations, and community groups all wanting

Samples, J. W. (1999, June), Managing Your Career & Personal Life: Is There Light At The End Of The Tunnel? Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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