The old adage that we all need to find ‘Work – Life – Balance’ tends to be thrown out the window when thinking about balancing my office job, farming and family. It is not that we don’t have degrees of balance work and family time, it is just that when farming is involved; it tends to be an all-encompassing lifestyle.
Not to say we farm for a lifestyle; however, the farm is a business and tends to be a major item of unpredictability; it could be in regards to weather, the broken piece of equipment or the final push to get crops harvested and livestock marketed. I continue to say “we” as I farm with my husband Clair Doan and my young children are of help too.
However, the reason we combine farming and outside employment is twofold. First, on our farm it is a financial necessity and secondly, we don’t know any different. Working combined with farming is something we have always done because we enjoy the challenges of working with people off farm and the rewards of growing food and working with nature.
Balancing My Office Job and Farming
When it comes to finding balance (because we all know it is necessary most of the time), it comes to goal setting, planning and communicating (did I mention communicating?).
Identifying and thinking about personal and farm resources is key to goal setting. For many it is financial, for others it will be time, for others it is a combination. It is important to strategically think about both the farm as a business and setting goals where you want to see it in the future; at the same time establishing similar goals for one’s career and continual growth and professional development.
Now that goals are established, putting a plan together that includes both farm and work obligations, not to mention family requirements are key. Because we are not superheroes, knowing our strengths and weakness to execute the plan is vital; for some it may be about using custom operators on the farm to complete certain tasks or at work it may be about arranging a certain business trip around harvest season; all in an effort to find balance.
No matter the job, career or business endeavor, the communication with other of executing your plan to reach your goals is vital. Being able to identify a problem, ask for help or simply let others around you know of the challenges and solutions is key to success.
For me and my family, the ability to combine the love of agriculture & food production with a professional career and farming business is exciting; however it can also be a challenge. No matter one’s vocational choice, knowing what your core values are is central and ensuring you have time to devote to this is what ultimately will provide satisfaction in life. I often look at this quote and try to live by it: “A great attitude becomes a great mood, which becomes a great day, which becomes a great year, which becomes a great life!” We can’t always control everything that is thrown at us or how our day turns out, even with the best plans and attempt at balance, however, we can control our attitude and how we approach each day!
Search for agribusiness careers to compliment your farming lifestyle on AgCareers.com.