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Quality of Life vs. Quality of Work

Among the reasons for leaving the service, military personnel most often cite “Quality of Life.” If this applies to you, it would be prudent to use it as one of your evaluation points as you seek out a civilian career and evaluate job offers.

Although you probably hear and use the phrase Quality of Life (QOL) often, have you ever stopped to consider what it actually means? Let’s start by distinguishing it from its sister phrase, Quality of Work (QOW).

QOW deals with the internal elements of the job. Consider these: working conditions and environment, job satisfaction, corporate culture, co-worker relationships, and advancement opportunity. QOL addresses issues beyond the workplace. Where you live, your commute, personal time for family, hobbies, interests or community service, and compensation are among those elements that impact most people’s QOL.

There is a close connection between QOL and QOW. The work you do will directly impact your QOL. Your working hours, the pressure of the job, salary, benefits, holiday and vacation policy, out-of-town travel, and job satisfaction have both a direct and indirect impact on your QOL. Conversely, your mental, physical, spiritual, and financial health away from the job will probably impact your QOW.

In its most basic form, QOL involves two issues: where you live and how much money you make. These are interconnected through geography and cost of living. How does a starting salary of $75,000 in Manhattan sound to you? Well, are we talking about Manhattan, Kansas, or Manhattan, NYC?

Objective: I want a fast paced career with a growing, dynamic company where compensation is based on work ethic and results and where there is an opportunity for rapid professional growth.

Objective: I want a nice house in a safe, quiet neighborhood with access to good schools and a personal life that allows me to spend time with my family, play golf, coach Little League, and get involved in community service activities.

Which of these statements best reflects your desires?

Let me guess—you want it all! Is that possible or are they mutually exclusive?

While not quite mutually exclusive, there is a connection. You might have to make a few sacrifices in each category to attain an acceptable situation in the other. What kind of sacrifices? That is totally up to you. Everyone has different priorities in their personal and professional lives. The key is finding a balance that works for you. Try this one on for size:

Objective: I want a career opportunity that allows me to balance the requirements of my personal and professional lives.

Although I would not suggest using that statement on your resume, you should keep it in mind. Identify and prioritize your QOL and QOW requirements and use the result as a guide as you conduct your career transition and job search.



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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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