How Can Role Jugglers Thrive in Life? A Need Satisfaction Perspective on the Work-Home Interface
Combining a career with a family life can be a daunting task. One indicator of how difficult it is to juggle work and family life is the growing number of employees who give up their position to spend more time with family (Paquette & Craighill, 2015). In contrast, there are numerous successful jugglers who have a highly demanding job and substantial family responsibilities but adjust, learn, and grow while combining these roles. What is the secret to successful juggling? Why do some people seem to thrive while combining multiple roles while others struggle? In this paper, we develop a model that addresses the question of how combining multiple roles can lead to thriving at the global level (i.e., overall feelings of vitality and growth in life). Using insights from Self-Determination Theory (SDT), we suggest that the basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) can be fulfilled across multiple domains through compensation and expansion of need satisfaction. Then, we describe the mechanisms that explain how multiple domain need satisfaction can lead to global thriving. Our model further specifies that the likelihood that satisfying needs in multiple domains results in global thriving depends on individuals’ preference to focus on one role or combine multiple roles. The proposed model is particularly relevant now role juggling is overtaking role specialization whereas little is known about how role jugglers can thrive during their balancing act.