GMAT Issue Writing Sample 39
“It is difficult for people to achieve professional success without sacrificing important aspects of a fulfilling personal life.”
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
39. Are professional success and a fulfilling personal life mutually exclusive?
Probably not, although it is more difficult today to achieve both.
Undeniably, today's professionals must work long hours to keep their heads above water, let alone to get ahead in life financially. This is especially true in Japan, where cost of living, coupled with corporate culture, compel professional males to all but abandon their families and literally to work themselves to death. While the situation here in the states may not be as critical, the two-income family is now the norm, not by choice but by necessity.
However, our society's professionals are taking steps to remedy the problem. First, they are inventing ways—such as job sharing and telecommuting—to ensure that personal life does not take a backseat to career. Second, they are setting priorities and living those hours outside the workplace to the fullest. In fact, professional success usually requires the same time-management skills that are useful to find time for family, hobbies, and recreation. One need only look at the recent American presidents--Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Carter—to see that it is possible to lead a balanced life which includes time for family, hobbies, and recreation, while immersed in a busy and successful career. Third, more professionals are changing careers to ones which allow for some degree of personal fulfillment and self-actualization. Besides, many professionals truly love their work and would do it without compensation, as a hobby. For them, professional fulfillment and personal fulfillment are one and the same.
In conclusion, given the growing demands of career on today's professionals, a fulfilling personal life remains possible by working smarter, by setting priorities, and by making suitable career choices.