The Balancing Act

Work. Life. Balance.

Three words in every recruiter’s vernacular discussed at regular intervals throughout the day. We talk about it, ask about it, read about it and write about it. Especially if your organization invests in having balanced employees, you should be talking about it.

Why? Because best-in-class talent tends to care as much about living an exceptional life as they do exceptional career growth. But with a culture of balance on the mind, why is our industry notorious for burn-out? We’re the billboards, baby! ….Right? By nature, recruiters are many things. Recruiters are connectors. Recruiters are the pioneers that bring personality, enthusiasm, confidence and momentum to everything that we do. But effortlessly balanced? We are not.

Speaking on behalf of myself, a sense of balance is something I work towards and practice every day. It is easier said than done and not as simple as a 40 hour work week. For me, balance is when I am achieving goals both inside and outside of work. It’s when I love my life as much as my work, and vice versa. Balance is when I feel light hearted (not exhausted) when my laptop closes and not having my work day nor my evening diluted in spite of the other.

So how DO we stay balanced when we’re burning our passion and enthusiasm at both ends?

We take personal accountability and know when we need to re-ground ourselves. We realize that sometimes it’s exciting to have lot of skin in the game, and just as often playing it safe is the way to go. Some days I lean into innovation and others I have a routine that I dutifully follow. Too much routine is a snooze fest. Too much uncertainty is an occupational hazard. To avoid both, I have to ground myself in more routine in one area of my life to keep momentum in another. Routine helps me hold space for creativity without dropping the ball on getting shit done.

As a simple practice, I have a list of 5–10 things that anchor me. They’re constants, they help me manage time and energy, and they are 100% certain. Examples:

  • Exercise my mind and body daily. Endorphin's, sweat, meditation, prayer, mindfulness… you get it.
  • Take time every day to do something that makes me feel beautiful, feminine, and wonderful. Do my nails, take the extra 10 minutes to curl my hair instead of leaving it straight, perfume, heels instead of runners, just to name a few.
  • Eat almond butter and a banana for breakfast, and make my bed before I step out the door.
  • Every day, call a friend or family to listen. When my inspiration and optimism gets depleted, who I can be for others champions my spirit.

What are some of yours?

The purpose that drives a recruiter’s career (and life) requires passion and risk. We wouldn’t have it any other way. That same purpose also requires stability and balance. So try listing and practicing some of your own anchors. As our industry continues to be apologetically forward driven, we’ll inspire others in HR to do the same. And while we do all that, let’s be personally accountable for what we need to be balanced, grounded, and loving our lives. It’s pretty magnetic…which comes in handy in our line of work.


Debra Kosek - global retail recruitment manager at lululemon- Chicago gal living in a Vancouver world. Generous listener, shameless optimist, lover of the sweat life, and best in the world at cry laughing. Find me at RIDE, Kondi, or on the mat. @debrakosek