DEAR HARRIETTE: I love my family dearly. Lately, though, I'm hardly able to spend time with them. I started a new job about 11 months ago, and so far it's going well! I feel like I'm really getting my foot in the door when it comes to my career field. I love my job because I get to do what I'm really passionate about. However, it also requires me to work long hours away from home.
It saddens me that my family feels like I'm not there to spend as much time with them. I can see that it hurts them when I have to cancel all the time. How do I balance a demanding job and family time? I don't want to be isolated from my family, but I have other things to do that take up my time. How do I balance the two?
I want my family to know I'm still there for them. I also want my employers to know that I'm dedicated to the company. Being a passionate person, I give 100 percent to everything that I do. It's not easy, but I like that it challenges me to be motivated, regardless of anything else that goes on. -- In Need of Balance, Phoenix
DEAR IN NEED OF BALANCE: Start keeping a calendar or schedule where you write down every responsibility and appointment that you have. This includes personal care like eating regularly and exercising, completing the range of work tasks that are on your plate, and connecting with family. Itemize your list in manageable parts so that you can be passionate about everything and, over time, find balance by making time for everything. Trust that it takes time to figure it out. In the meantime, ask your family to have patience because building a career takes time.