Working and living

Work and performance are just one part of our lives, even when working in international cooperation.

In his model, Lothar J. Seifert places work and performance in one corner of a square, with the other three corners taken up by body and health, meaning and culture, and family and social contact; three to one! It can be argued that working in international cooperation (IC) provides meaning. While this may be true, it is often more complex than that.

From meaningful to destructive

For many, creating a healthy work-life balance is a challenge: it can be even more difficult in IC. On the one hand, the work is meaningful and promises satisfaction, which it often provides. On the other hand, the more meaningful the work, the greater the individual commitment, leading to more work and overtime, often over a long period. This type of burnout is caused by a lack of self-interest.

Different environments, different ways of finding a balance

While posted abroad, specialists live in different environments that can adversely affect their usual methods of achieving a work-life balance. Jogging? But now you live in a big city or in a security area where it is not allowed. Recreation at home? You are sharing a house with work colleagues. Outings on the weekend? The options are limited, the destinations are far away and the traffic on way home on Sunday evening is horrendous.  

Mixing work and leisure time

There are a variety of working and living conditions in IC, including those that allow a good work-life balance. However, the influence of work on other aspects of life is almost always significantly greater than at home. In many places, there is no clear separation as we know it between free time and work.

The consequences are that people working abroad in IC must be particular aware of addressing their need for relaxation and find a new way to achieve a work-life balance.

Discover IC Panorama

What does international cooperation mean? In the panorama of the IC working world you will find definitions, actors and career examples.

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