EU Career Compass: Guidance from the Pros | Juliette Piriou

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Juliette Piriou

Juliette Piriou juggles a busy career as an EU job coach and being a mum of three. She has drawn from this experience to help you achieve work-life balance.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN EU JOBS

Hello, I'm Juliette Piriou, a mum of three and a coach with over ten years of experience in guiding professionals through the complexities of career development in the EU institutions.

In balancing my career with my family life, I've learned to integrate efficient time management and meaningful family moments into my daily routine. I enjoy getting my clients to a point where they can excel in their EU careers while maintaining a rewarding personal life. Drawing from my own experiences and those of my clients, these are my 5 tips to progress toward a beneficial work-life balance.

  1. PRIORITISE AND PLAN
    • I use an intuitive approach for task prioritisation. Each morning I identify the top three impactful tasks for the day, which align with my goals. 
    • I plan my week using a color-coded digital calendar, integrating work and personal life. This helps me allocate time for work, family activities, and hobbies, ensuring balanced attention to all aspects of my life
  1. SET BOUNDARIES
    • I firmly stick to my work hours and avoid work-related emails and calls after 7 PM.
    • This boundary is clearly communicated to my colleagues and family. Communication is key! 
    • In my home, I maintain a dedicated workspace and turn off work notifications to distinctly separate work and family time. It might sound challenging at first, but it's truly liberating.
  1. ADAPTATIVE FLEXIBILITY WITHIN LIMITS
    • While flexibility is key in dynamic EU roles, establish limits to prevent work from overtaking personal time.
    • For instance, if you need to work late one evening, balance it by starting later or finishing early the next day.
    • Be ready to adjust plans for unexpected work emergencies, but also assert your personal time by rescheduling work tasks when personal priorities emerge.
  1. INVEST IN SELF-CARE
    • I keep active through sports and long walks but equally cherish movie and pizza nights with my kids. Balancing disciplined routines with these fun, relaxed moments is essential.
    • Practicing mindfulness is part of my mental health routine, yet I equally embrace unplanned, joyful times with family and friends for mental refreshment.
    • I generally focus on a balanced diet and sufficient sleep, but I'm open to the occasional indulgence or late-night fun, recognizing these as integral to a well-rounded lifestyle.
  1. SEEK SUPPORT AND DELEGATE
    • Professionally, delegating tasks lightens your workload and helps your team grow. My motto: “Alone we go faster, together we go further”. If you're not in a position to delegate, directly collaborate with colleagues to share and manage workloads effectively.
    • At home, we use a chore chart for family tasks, like our Saturday morning group clean-up, which makes chores more manageable and fun.
    • Having a support network of colleagues, mentors, and friends is crucial for advice and practical help in managing the demands of your role.

My journey as an EU career coach has taught me that work-life balance is about ongoing self-discovery and adaptation. These tips, drawn from my experiences, are meant to guide you to find the best methods that will ultimately help you thrive in your career and personal life.

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