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Interviews

3 Tips on Work-Life Balance | Interview With Caroline Tran Part I

By Pye Jirsa on July 17th 2015

Balancing Work and Life

We have Caroline Tran in our studio for a three-part interview series! When she’s not out shooting, she has her hands full with two kids and a husband at home. For many self-employed photographers, balancing work and home life can be difficult. Caroline has three tips for those photographers to get a better balance between work and life!

3 Tips on Work-Life Balance | Interview With Caroline Tran Part I

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Tip 1: Set Boundaries

“Well number 1, don’t do what I’m doing today…” – Caroline Tran

Caroline is a mother, wife, wedding photographer, commercial photographer, and more. As a self-employed photographer, many times the distinction of work and life gets blurred, and it can cause problems. Setting boundaries is essential for maintaining a separate time for your work and your personal life, and it’s a perpetual, conscious effort.

For Caroline, weekends and the days when her kids are in school (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) is when she tries to squeeze in the most work. The days her kids are off of school (Tuesdays and Thursdays) is the time she designates as family time. Of course, sometimes the boundary lines blur (like for this interview!), but she makes an effort to keep her family time, family time.

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Before setting these boundaries, Caroline would feel guilty when she was at work because she was not at home with her kids, and guilty when she was at home because she had a lot of work to do. With the work-life boundaries, she is able to get more work done guilt-free, as well as enjoy her time with her children.

Tip 2: Set Personal Goals for Work and Life

“The hardest part, is that something does have to give” – Caroline Tran

When Caroline is in a rut, she feels like she’s not accomplishing something. To counter that negative feeling, she sets new goals for herself. Caroline’s son (4 years old) vocalized that he’s unhappy when she leaves all day on the weekends. So this year, a goal she had for herself was to work more on the weekdays, so she could spend more time with her family on the weekends.

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This was a work goal because she wanted to find weekday options that still met her financial needs, and a personal goal for her to have more quality time with her family.

Tip 3: Getting Help/Outsourcing Your Workload

“You’re not going to be good at everything. What are the things you’re best at? Let’s keep doing that. What are you not good at? Let’s hand those off” – Caroline Tran

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For Caroline, she’s good at social media and blogging, so she kept doing those. Post-production and editing were the first things to go out the door. Caroline knows how she wants her photos to look and she can outsource that to other people to give her that look. By getting help and outsourcing, you’re able to free up your time to do more important things, like spend time with your family.

Conclusion and More Info

I hope you enjoyed this interview! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the updates because we still have two more interviews with Caroline!

Check Out Caroline Tran’s

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rita Slade

    You have written it well. Even I think balancing home as well as work life is a great task. It becomes difficult to handle both sometimes as we feel we don’t get time for ourselves. I usually spend all my weekend with my family members and take out some time for on-line shopping and social media. I have found a new site recently and it is really good for affordable shopping. Check this link http://casual-plus.com.

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  2. Timothy Going

    Great advice. With two kids of my own, I agree that its important to have days when you don’t do work, period. It took me a long time to accept that, but I realized that even major companies have business hours and they still make money. If I loose a customer because I didn’t respond to an email that day, or because I missed a phone call, well then chances are I wasn’t going to make them happy no matter how hard I tried.

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  3. Ralph Hightower

    I covet the RZ67. Is that the gear Caroline shoots with?

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  4. Maria Manjelo

    You also want to mention is to get help with the husband (if any). To sometimes to distruct the children with something so you can get work done during the day as well.

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