Sometime a little over 10
years ago, I remember having to leave my Nephew’s birthday
party due to an ‘emergency’ call. Being the Service Manager,
even when I wasn’t ‘on-call’, I was still available. I used
to drive my Service Van (affectionally called by my wife to
be: The Death Mobile) to family events like these, always on
edge in case that phone rang.
was my ‘last straw’, the point I realized I couldn’t have
the family I wanted if I continued down the same path. Even
to this day, I joke with my wife about that awful ring tone
we had that signified I was leaving, sometimes when I first
got home from a long day - or others at 3am.
To be honest, she must
really love me because, like every HVAC Technician, I was
sometimes working as much as (60) hours per week in the
‘busy seasons’. This definitely speaks to the opportunity in
our industry, even ten years ago!
The answer at the time for me was to find another path in
the industry, one that I traveled around MA & RI, meeting
Technicians like myself and teaching them the basics of the
refrigerant cycle, airflow, and efficiency. This came with a
significant pay cut, but no overtime. Like all of the career
decisions I have made,
I wouldn’t change my
experiences for anything. Had I made a conscious effort to
create a better work-life balance, I believe I would have
found more satisfaction in my work and life at home a that
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This has taken
me the last ten years to find, sometimes close to the point
of burnout, and if you ask my family still not ‘balanced’. I
have now strived to not only plan my work day, but my time
at home as well. The happiest times I have are when things
with my family are planned, particularly ones that I don’t
need to plan myself.
this means when I say ‘Yes' to something at work, I am
saying ‘No' to something else. If this 'work yes' requires
travel, this means I am telling my family no over a couple
of days - and when I have no choice in the matter it
literally eats me alive, cannot sleep, etc.
So, I pose the question: Can you have a ‘work-life balance’
in the HVAC Industry?
I have been part of most positions from Technician to
Instructor, now in Sales. I have found that being more
intentional with your time in both work and home can
contribute to your happiness for sure - but does happiness
mean you have achieved a balance?
At what point
does your responsibility to your company, employees, or
customers outweigh your responsibilities at home?
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