Work/Life balance – It is what you think it is

lifeworkbalaBy Melany Hallam

Balance is a term that implies a weigh scale where the things being compared are equal. In the case of work/life balance, this would mean that the same amounts of time and energy are put into work, family and yourself every day. Generally, people decide to commit to creating “balance” in their lives because they feel they’ve been working too much at the expense of family and self. It is this belief that may be setting them up to fail.

How so?

No one is the same amount of busy in all aspects of their lives at all times. Work has cycles, whether you’re an employee or a business owner. The family and friends part of our lives has busy times, especially around holidays like Christmas (24 more sleeps!) There will also be times where your “me time” becomes more important in your life (time alone on a meditation retreat or mountain biking). And everyone has varying levels of tolerance for busy-ness.

In effect, this means that your life will never be perfectly balanced. But so what? There’s nothing wrong with all this – it’s healthy. The problem comes when people start feeling guilty about not meeting the expectations of others. Or they may be unclear about their own goals and feel that they should be able to do it all.

This is an oversimplification, but you can stop the cycle by defining what you want, and then communicating this to the people most important to you. I just read an article ( which argues that the root cause of dissatisfaction in our lives can be found in our definition of success. This makes sense to me. For some, success is measured by creating a business with a high net worth. For others, it’s working at a job which allows them to go home by 3 p.m. to spend time with their kids. For me, it’s creating a work schedule that allows me to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Powell River whenever I need to.

Why can’t we define success as building a life that we enjoy – one that is worth living for you? Essentially, everyone’s “balanced life” should be achieved according to their own definition rather than the expectations of others. Accept that you can’t do everything, or accept that it’s okay not to want to do everything.

Here are some insights from real people ( who have created their own definitions of work/life balance:

  1. The definition of balance changes over time, so be flexible
  2. There’s nothing wrong with work – it can be a break from family life and keep you sane
  3. Put yourself first, kind of like putting on your oxygen mask on a plummeting airplane before assisting others
  4. Be aware that you’re not doing it all and you don’t have to (it may result in a learning opportunity for your children or building trust with co-workers)
  5. There’s always a cost – appreciate the people who support you, whether they be at home or at work
  6. You don’t need kids to struggle with balance, you may be responsible for aging parents, or have health issues
  7. If there’s still a nagging desire for perfection, resist the urge to compare yourself to others
  8. The importance of setting boundaries can’t be understated, and be sure to communicate them to people at home and at work
  9. Working to grow your business can actually give you more time to spend on your personal life (it’s not “either/or” but “both/and”)

So throw out the weigh scale and create your method of measurement. Enjoy!


Here’s some further reading:

BladeRunners is Back in 2018!

is  Click here for a printable file

What is BladeRunners?

BladeRunners is one of the most successful youth employment programs in BC. It helps participants with multiple barriers to employment to successfully transition into the workplace. By providing essential certifications and personal guidance, BladeRunners helps to ensure participants have what it takes to get hired.

This session of BladeRunners is geared towards preparing participants for jobs in the service industry. Eligible youth who wish to become employed this summer are strongly encouraged to apply.

What will BladeRunners receive?

  • 4 weeks of classroom-based learning focusing on professional development, skills enhancement, and personal growth
  • WHMIS, Food Safe, World Host, Serving it Right, First Aid (OFA L1) and other workshops and training
  • Possibility of other certifications or necessary pieces of identification as needed
  • Weekly training stipend for attendance
  • Work clothes to help support the cost of entering the workplace
  • Possibility of participating in additional work experience

Who is Eligible?

Unemployed or underemployed youth ages 15-30 who are not students and have not received Employment Insurance in the past 5 years are eligible for BladeRunners. Good candidates for BladeRunners include youth with some of the following barriers and criteria:

o     Lack of experience or education (eg. Non-completion of High School, limited work experience or training)

o     At risk factors (eg. History of substance abuse, single parent issues, contact with justice, homeless or at risk of homelessness)

o     Aboriginal ancestry.


  • The program runs for 4 weeks, Monday, January 8th to Friday, February 2nd
  • Sessions will be held at Career Link #103, 4511 Marine Avenue, Powell River  V8A 2K5
  • To discuss becoming a BladeRunner, please contact Sara Beauregard at or call at 604 485-7958.

New Transportation Supplement for Persons with Disabilities starts Jan. 1, 2018

Beginning January 1, 2018, annual bus passes will be available to people on disability assistance through a new transportation supplement.

Persons with Disabilities (PWD designation) can use the new supplement for an annual bus pass or for other transportation needs, such as HandyDART.

The supplement will also provide flexibility. People can apply for the B.C. Bus Pass at any time during the year. They can also cancel their bus pass at any time and use the supplement for other transportation costs.

The new supplement responds to requests from the disability community to fix changes that were made to transportation supports for people on disability assistance. Government committed to addressing their concerns and consulted with stakeholders on the best approach.

The transportation supplement is $52 per month and will be on monthly assistance payments, starting with the Dec. 20, 2017, payment.

The B.C. Bus Pass can be used in both TransLink and BC Transit areas.

Additional resources


20 Quick Resume Tips: A Checklist

  1. Before you apply, research the workplace you are requesting to join:
    1. Who are the main players there (search them out on social media but do not contact them that way)?
    2. What do they produce? Who are their clients?
    3. What does the future look like for them?
    4. Drop by their location/ offices/ shop/ factory and get an idea what goes on there.
    5. What do their website and social media reveal?
    6. Can you visualize working there (why/why not)? (take notes!)
  2.  Most importantly, do you have anything to offer them now or in the future? Brainstorm on ways you think they can increase their success, and keep these in your pocket for an interview situation, taking notes.
  3. Keep your resume down to 1 or 2 pages (never more than  2)
  4. Keep your font legible: use the fonts Calibri or Arial; avoid italicization but do use bold and underline
  5. Keep your work experience list within the last 10 years
  6. Choose the best resume format for the job – if you have performed similar tasks among most of your job history and are applying for a similar job, use the Functional style: i.e. list all your acquired skills in a list near the top of page 1 , then keep your employment history simpler by providing (in order of most recent to least recent) your job title(s), the company you worked for (and location), dates you worked from-to (month/year) in chronological order starting with the most recent on top, usually.
  7. Make absolutely sure there are no typos or grammar errors (have your resume and cover letter proofed by 2 different trustworthy people + yourself)
  8. Then- target the job you’re applying for: always refer to the items listed in the job ad or posting, while using similar or even exact wording — especially if you are applying via ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to create a skills-match between you and the job you are seeking to fill.
  9. If you are currently working, explain why you are applying for this job in your cover letter.
  10. Include enough information at the top of page 1 that displays the type of work and duties you can do! Show your accomplishments – whether in education, on the job, volunteering and recreational is this can create a positive impact! Keep it relevant to the overall ‘picture’ of yourself that you are presenting.
  11. Make sure you have no recent employment gaps (or explain gaps in your cover letter).
  12. If you are an out-of-town applicant, include a local address if possible, and address your relocation hopes/plans in your cover letter.
  13. Colour or shading, use of a bold font, blank space on the page, and endorsements are all important. Even video (in addition to a cover letter and resume) can be a nice touch, as can a professional head shot, and link to a portfolio website (again, if it is standard in your industry).
  14. Make sure your social media is up to inspection (73% of employers always check candidates’ social media) – remove questionable material from the web that is linked you your name.
  15. Make sure your email address is professional-looking (i.e. is not appropriate).
  16. Show personality but also include keywords from the posting; the style of the resume should reflect how you would approach your work and must also reflect the type of work you hope to accomplish with the employer (so, if you hope to be a designer at a company, your resume will look very different from a truck driver’s resume).
  17. Include volunteer activities, interests and hobbies; these become great talking points during an interview and can make you interesting enough to merit an interview at all.
  18. Produce a PDF file (Adobe Acrobat) for your resume when you send it via email or via website uploads. PDFs are readable on all devices, and they maintain the original formatting/font/layout of your original file.
  19. Once you have a great resume, also include a signed cover letter to personalize it further- this is where you specifically mention the job title/code for which you are applying, and where your personality really comes through and allows you to link your interests, skills, plans for the future, education and work history to the position for which you are applying.
  20. Use a formal style for your cover letter, researching the name of the person who will be reviewing your resume (if possible), dating the letter, signing it at bottom and expressing how they should best contact you for an interview or informational session.

Of course, a Career Counsellor would be very happy to review your resume and job plan with you if you are eligible. Give us a call at 604.485.7958 or drop by Career Link Monday-Friday 8:30AM-4:30PM at #103, 4511 Marine Avenue, Powell River, BC.

Alternately, Career Link offers a FREE Resume Workshop every Thursday from 12:30pm-3:30pm. Registration is required; please click here or give us a call.


Coastal Postings Oct. 2017


October 2017: 137 (73 via Career Link, 64 elsewhere) – 24 re-posted = 113 new job postings.  Total # of individual jobs posted in Oct 2017: 182

Job postings from… Octobers past

Oct 2016: 81 (56 via career link, 25 elsewhere)- 17 re-posted = 64 new job postings

Oct 2015: 101(72 via Career Link, 29 elsewhere) – 30 re-posted = 71 new job postings

Oct 2014: 88 (72 via Career Link; 16 elsewhere) – 37 re-posted = 51 new job postings

Oct 2013: 39 (35 via Career Link; 4 elsewhere) – 17 re-posted = 22 new job postings

Oct 2012: 40 – 7 re-posted = 33 new job postings

Oct 2011: 39 – 13 re-posted = 26 new job postings

Oct 2010: 25 – 2 re-posted = 23 new job postings

Oct 2009: 27 – 10 re-posted = 17 new job postings

Oct 2008: 41- 13 re-posted = 28 new job postings

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