Venturing 'out' and 'about' the work / life balance

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The Canadian accent is more than slightly different to their American counterparts. Part of the charm of the people is that the Scottish influence is heard in the pronunciation of the vowels ooout and aboout. In packing for my short term assignment to Canada, one would think that the thoughts that would be floating around my head would be work orientated, such as how am I going to design a portfolio framework for 600+ projects?! However, the other personal and subtle considerations perhaps are at the foremost of my thoughts. Work has been packaged in the back of my mind whilst I muse over the culture, sense of humour, different accents, social scene, and how to fill my personal time how not to be lonely indeed.

Why? Because when I arrive I will step into a neatly packaged life, furnished apartment, have a car provided and will go to work the next day. What I do not know, is that which causes the musings. Building a social world and life, fitting in and being accepted is part of any consultants work with a new project but the anxiety increases when having no fall-back of getting home to family and friends to share the experiences with.

Often our anxiety about work manifests in the smaller elements around the periphery that should not be ignored as the personal elements are often those that we have less control over rather than the professional, where we know how to approach a project and apply a structure.

So with anxiety and excitement I will have a Canadian summer and intend to maximise absorbing and being in the new environment, culture and social scene. Oh, and I am going to make sure I do a good job too!


Posted by Claire Purser on 26th Jul 2012

About the Author
I have been an APM Member since 2006 and hold the APM PQ qualification. I have recently joined the People SIG as a committee member pursuing my interest in the people aspects of project management. With a background in psychology, I maintain my interest through professional association with the British Psychological Society and Division of Occupational Psychology. I have a varied experience in consultancy which has involved work in the defence arena nationally and internationally, nuclear sector, and with other government depts. My recent roles have involved implementing a change management programme across diverse portfolios, the main challenging being on the achievement of sustainable project management cultures and behaviours. I passionately believe that motivating people and building relationships is the key skill central to effective project delivery and am delighted to be a part of the People SIG committee.

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