Q. My company is currently into the "work-life balance" culture. I'm sure the idea is a good one but it seems open to interpretation. My manager keeps banging on about it but can't tell us how it will change our way of operating.

Q. My company is currently into the "work-life balance" culture. I'm sure the idea is a good one but it seems open to interpretation. My manager keeps banging on about it but can't tell us how it will change our way of operating.

A. The current fast-track system of working trends has left many bewildered bosses in its wake. Don't push for specifics as it could be stressful for him/her. It takes most managers long enough to cotton on to the latest buzz words without oiks like you asking what they mean.

When a concept is open to interpretation like this always put your own spin on it asap. The work-life balance is all very "new millennium". It's a holistic backlash against an extended working day and the subsequent absentee-ism from family life. Someone with some sense realised that sitting at a desk for long hours does not mean the same as greater achievement. The idea is that you cultivate a life outside the workplace. Misinterpretation by greedy bosses has led them to arm their workforce with laptops so that they can put in the same extra hours in the "comfort" of their own homes. Only consider converting your shed into a workstation if it means payback in terms of less work pressure and enhanced quality of life.

Q. I am a first-year accountant in one of the top five firms. I came here straight from university because I wanted a head start on graduates who took a year out. But I've begun to wonder whether I have chosen the right career. I feel as though I made my choice without exploring other options.

A. Relax. All you're suffering from is a bit of commitment-phobia. Anyone in their right mind would get spooked by the thought that what you're doing now is exactly the same as what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Two thoughts need to emerge from all the panic: 1) Forget the regrets. You chose to go straight into a job. You can't go back and change the past.If you really want to spend a year making log rafts in Nepal you can always take a sabbatical later on. And: 2) Major career-swaps are becoming increasingly popular. I recently worked with a TV producer who was an ex-copper and a farmer who had been a City broker. Anything is possible, but you should strive to get the timing right. I'd suggest you qualify first and then consider that quantum leap. You may even find yourself loving the job.

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