Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family vs. Career

Someone put the the work-life balance question on a networking site. In answering that question, I have come across some thoughts that made me to think that may be Career and Family are not very different. The more I pondered on those thoughts, the more I felt that a comprehensive plan to allow you time to express and share love is important.

I have always believed that family and career go through lifecycles of their own. There are phases in each of these lifecycles that demand more of your time. Examples of such phases: Child birth vs. Job Change. I believe that we need to plan our career paths with our family lifecycle in perspective. In today's competitive world you need to be able to give your 100% to your job when the job demands it. Scheduling all this around key phases of family lifecycle helps in getting you your 100%.

At a tactical level, I believe it is a matter of setting expectations and planning to deliver beyond the expectations. It would help to let your family understand a little bit about your career. It might help set their expectations on your time. From your side, you need to get your family on your calendar. You need to plan your daily and monthly schedule to pull out every hour of time that you could get with your family and coordinate with your family members in setting up some family events - Daily Dinner, Weekend Trips, Birthday Suprises, Visit to the Zoo, Window Shopping etc. Dont hesitate to dip into your paid leaves for these family events. There are some family events that can be wrapped up in 5-6 hours. Take half day leaves instead of full day leaves. Half day leaves gives your family and you more time than usual and your children dont have to take the day off from school either. Such leaves also let you do 2 family events instead of just 1.

Also, nothing beats geniune love. All of the above is to allow you time to share that love. Think about what you have done to express your love to each member of your family, in the near past. Communicating love is as important as feeling it.