How to Achieve Good Work-Family Symmetry

John Krautzel
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Retail jobs are known for requiring a great deal of flexibility, especially when it comes to scheduling work hours. Many employers require their employees to work a combination of evening, weekend, and holiday hours to ensure customers receive the best possible service at all times. This makes it difficult for some employees to achieve work-life balance and maintain high levels of job satisfaction. If retail jobs make it difficult for you to find family time, use these tips for improving your work-life balance.

When you accept a retail job, you must remember it is your responsibility to make time for your family. Your manager will not go out of her way to give you time off, so make work-life balance a priority. Good planning and organization are essential for balancing the demands of a family with the demands of a retail job. If you want to take a vacation during the summer, make your request for time off as far in advance as possible. If you find it difficult to run errands and get enough quality time with your family, keep a to-do list and do a few items each day instead of doing everything on your day off.

Retail jobs sometimes make it difficult to find family time in your busy schedule, but your manager will be more likely to work with you if you focus on being a team player. Most retail employees have to work a holiday or two, so avoid complaining about the hours and do the best you can to assist customers. Your manager might be more willing to give you a break during slow periods of work. If someone calls in sick or doesn't show up for work, volunteering to cover the shift could pay off when you really need a day off to spend time with your family.

Unfortunately, some managers are not willing to work with you even if you do extra work and help out when there are problems. In fact, retailers took several spots on the recent list of worst companies to work for released by Glassdoor.com. The list included Sears, Dollar General, Dillard's, and Radio Shack. Glassdoor.com also released a list of the 25 best companies for work-life balance. Recreational Equipment Inc. was the only retailer to make an appearance on the list. REI sells recreational equipment and sporting goods. With so many retailers showing up on the list of worst companies for employees, it is up to you to make work-life balance a priority.

Retail jobs can be very rewarding, as they offer a lot of variety and the opportunity to interact with different people each day. Unfortunately, some retail jobs make it difficult to balance your work life with your family life. Remember it is your responsibility to make your managers aware of your needs and plan ahead for time off whenever possible. These simple steps can make it easier to balance the demands of retail jobs with your desire to spend time with your family.

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)

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