Talk to any career salesperson or really anybody who travels for business and they'll tell you that one of the toughest parts of the job is to maintain a work-life balance. Not only are you working hard, but your hours tend to be much more extended than people who solely work in an office. In addition, while travel has its benefits, it is also tough on the road. Delays, inclement weather, and other unforeseen circumstances have a way of beating you down into submission. If you also miss your family along the way, this can be demoralizing at times.
As a husband and father of two young children, I can speak to this from first-hand experience. The constant travel creates a lot of challenges on the home front. Because I am not home all the time, I believe that a little bit of resentment has built up in my wife. She is always with the kids and is in charge at home. Obviously, she supports me and knows why I do what I do, but it is only human to feel this way, especially in times of stress.
In addition, it is tough for me to miss a good chunk of the formative years of my kids lives. I often spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of travel and of the sales lifestyle, but it wouldn't be I completely honest blog if I glossed over the challenges. Fortunately, I picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to help any of you who may be in a similar situation cope.
When you are not traveling, be present for your family. Try to bookend business trips with family time
As hard as it may be I tried to book very early flights out so I get the entire day before with my kids and wife. I can always sleep on the plane
Video chat / FaceTime as often as possible. Because I usually catch early flights, my wife and kids are normally waking up before I board. This gives me a chance to say good morning to them. I always talk to my kids before they go to bed as well.
Make sure you have open dialogue with your family about work and why you have to travel so much. With a spouse, this can help to reduce some unnecessary resentment and with kids, it is just a good practice to share this kind of stuff with them