#beyondAcademia: Work-life balance

During the first part of our #beyondAcademia digital event on careers outside academia, we introduced our respondents in their professional contexts. Today, we reconvene our digital event to address the following questions in the posts during the remainder of the week:


  • What should you consider when choosing a non-academic career path?
  • How do you find a non-academic job?
  • Advice for the transition out of academia and how to avoid common mistakes
  • What you can do in grad school to prepare for a non-academic career

But before we commence, here is another (re-) introduction of our respondents, but this time we asked them to relate something about how they balance their work and the remainder of their lives—the famous “work-life balance”.

Nick Gaylord

My job has flexible hours, which helps with work/life balance a lot — I love being able to miss the morning rush. Outside of work my main pastimes are photography, outside hangs, and volunteering in a community bike shop. I also try to combine friends, craft beer, and good vinyl whenever possible.

Brock Ferguson

Work-life balance has been difficult for me to strike outside of academia, and something I’m actively trying to improve. I love work, and I’m comfortable putting a lot of time into business as an investment for a future. That said, I’ve realized more and more that you need your work to be paying dividends throughout your life — not dumping a lump sum of time/fun on you in retirement.

Staying active has proven to be really important for me, so I always make sure I work out once per day either weightlifting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or yoga. Other than that, I would say travel is my biggest non-work activity… for a short surf trip to Tofino (Vancouver Island), a medium surf trip to California, or a big one in Hawaii.  I like to go camping throughout the summer in places without cell coverage to really disconnect for a minute, and I’m actually hitting the reset button right now in the UK for a short trip after a crazy first few months of 2017. Being able to travel whenever I want is one of the great perks of running your own business, and I definitely take advantage of it.

Katherine Livins

I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies and managers that encourage work/life balance. I usually ‘turn off’ at night and leave my work at the office, unless there’s a big deadline. I make sure to take vacations since I love traveling, and I try to get outside on weekends (I love scuba diving and hiking).


Anita Bowles

Anita lives in San Jose, California with her husband and their three large rescue dogs. She enjoys traveling, photography, hiking, and playing volleyball. In her spare time, she puts her research into practice by volunteering to teaching English to recent immigrants and by studying foreign languages herself.


Maria D’Angelo

Work-life balance has always been a priority as I love spending time with my husband, family, and friends. I also value time that I can dedicate to my hobbies, which include reading, knitting, travelling, cooking, and practicing yoga. In addition, I lead a local Meetup group, the Toronto Women’s Data Group.



Mike Winograd

My work-life balance entirely depends on staffing. There are weeks I will work 60-70 hours and have late night or early morning calls with our offshore teams while others I may be able to shut down from 6pm-8am. It’s just something you have to accept in this line of work.



Carly Kontra

I make time for yoga classes each week, schedule travel (time off!) to look forward to, and prioritize learning new skills/disciplines (examples from last year: calligraphy, aerial dance, urban design).



So now stand by for more answers about life (and work-life balance) #beyondAcademia during the remainder of the week.


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