Welcome to Non-Profit Week on the Pixel/Point Press blog! We’re featuring guest posts this week from around our community. Our third post comes from Laura Ben-David, social media coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh. Enjoy!
In an ideal world we would all do what we love, and love what we do. Imagine being one the lucky few who are paid to do what they truly enjoy, and happen to be doing all the time anyway. It’s perfect. Well, it’s almost perfect.
When your favorite leisure activity becomes your work, it can blur the lines between them and raises some unique questions. Is it really ‘leisure’ any more, now that it’s your vocation? Since your employment is what you do naturally all the time anyway, are you ever off the clock? Do you need to be? When work and life naturally overlap, it is a challenge to find the right balance. I know; my work and life are so intertwined that I’m often confused about where one ends and the other begins.
Making Aliyah to Israel was a defining moment for me. Ten years later, I still view our Aliyah, on the very first Nefesh B’Nefesh flight, as one of the most significant – and best – decisions we could have made. As a social media aficionado, you almost couldn’t pick a better fit for me than managing the social media for Nefesh B’Nefesh. Naturally I have very strong feelings about Israel, Aliyah and Nefesh B’Nefesh, so for someone who spends the amount of time on social media that I do engaging in these passions, it means I am always ‘on’.
One challenge is what I like to call justified procrastination. Naturally, no matter how much you love a job, there will be those responsibilities you like less. Since I’m always ‘working’ it is easy to put off those less preferable tasks until I finish doing something I enjoy more. Of course this practice doesn’t hold up very well when a deadline comes and goes and I am still caught up doing what I didn’t actually have to be doing that moment.
The biggest challenge for me, though, is that I’m often unsure when my work persona ends and my personal life begins. For example, when communicating with some of the many friends I’ve made through my professional interactions, sometimes we talk about work, other times we just talk. Am I networking or just shooting the breeze? Am I on the clock or off?
Often when I’m checking Facebook or twitter, inevitably I will find and relate to personal items during work hours, and work items after-hours. Then again, what are my hours? The work that I do is certainly not bound by any traditional business hours. In fact there are so many things I do in my day that could be for work, but maybe it isn’t. How do I quantify it? How do I separate it? Do I even need to?
Happily I am salaried and not worrying about calculating every moment of work; that would be a full time job in and of itself. With my work and private lives overlapping as they do, I will naturally always be struggling to find the balance. Often I don’t even try, but I know I must because as a wife, mother and community member, I have other obligations outside of the computer and smartphone – much as I enjoy using them. . It’s not perfect; but these days it’s perfectly normal. We may not have an ideal world and there may not be an ideal job. But I love what I do and that’s why I do it. And I never forget what a blessing that is.
Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura Ben-David began writing and never stopped. Hailing from Boca Raton, Fla., Laura is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken about Israel and Aliyah all over the United States and Israel. When social media came onto the scene she took to the new medium naturally and is currently the social media coordinator at Nefesh B’Nefesh. Find her here on Twitter.
More posts from NPO Week at Pixel/Point Press:
- Using Competitive Intelligence to Stand Out
- Perfecting the Act of Not-For-Profit Task Juggling
- Content is King – Help Yours Reign Supreme