The concept of work-life balance is often referenced in an idealistic, aspirational way. Many professionals in our industry bemoan their lack of free time and flexibility and chalk it all up to needing a better work-life balance. But perhaps what we need to do is more effectively blend our work and personal lives rather than keep them on separate ends of the balance beam.

I can personally attest to the benefits of a philosophy called the work-life blend, which is a key principle of rbb’s award-winning culture. CEO of rbb communications, Christine Barney, explains:

“Work does not happen between 9 and 5, and personal life does not happen 5 p.m. and after. There are personal things that happen during the day, and work things that will happen at night and weekends. Not just for me but everyone at my firm.”

Coming from other work environments that would scoff at the idea of working from home or working flexible hours, I find this mentality to be a breath of fresh air. Whether dealing with doctor’s appointments, elementary school pick-ups, or even a unique opportunity to film a segment mid-week with CNN, rbb understands that we have lives outside of work and offers rbb’ers the flexibility to do it all.

Recently, the benefits of the work-life blend manifested themselves in an unexpected, yet rewarding way. A former rbb’er and Producer at CNN reached out to me regarding an upcoming Culinary Journeys segment she was filming in Miami. After sharing with her that I run my own food blog, Miami Food Porn, she popped the question: “Do you want to participate in the segment?”

‘Me? On TV? During the work day, no less?’ After running through a hundred excuses in my head, I reminded myself that I work in an environment that not only allows, but encourages us to grasp every opportunity. (Yes, even if they fall between the hours of nine to five.)

So I put on my game face, stepped out of my comfort zone and spent the day filming the segment. In this particular case, the opportunity proved fruitful not only on a personal level, but also on a professional level.

How?

  • Building Relationships with Media: I was able to solidify my relationship with a valuable media contact at CNN, which will certainly come in handy for clients and opportunities down the line.
  • Paying It Forward: rbb is a collaborative firm where we share ideas and contacts, and this case was no different. I invited the producer to our office the day after filming and introduced her to my colleagues so they could also explore future opportunities with their clients.
  • Walking The Talk: While we’re often coaching clients on message development, public speaking and on-camera tactics, we’re not always in the limelight ourselves. It’s important to practice what we preach in order to provide the best counsel to clients.

I realized that some of the most valuable learnings can happen outside of the traditional work hours or office environment, so don’t be afraid to break routine, snap out of the nine to five funk, and embrace the work-life blend. The best part? rbb will be cheering you on.