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.


Meghana said...

Although what you say is reasonable - like taking time out for family and so on, I wouldn't accord with you on few things. Going by what you say, one will end up as a book of rules and can quickly get quiet boring. Communicating love should be an integral part of a human and should be very natural & special in its own way and that is not something that can be planned and be done as a deed.

Unknown said...

Though what you say is right but would like to ask you how much do you follow this?

Unknown said...

First of all, thanks for commenting on my posts. I like to hear what others think about my writing.

Meghana - You are right, love should be in the human nature. Infact, the last paragraph on the post speaks to that. However, I am seeing more and more number of people constrained by the work-life balance. Hence, the post.

Shailu - I was just bursting to answer this. Here is what I did (you can also cross reference this with my linkedin profile) - When I started by career I set milestones before myself to match my family lifecycle. I chose roles that needed a lot of travel while I am still a bachelor. I have now grown into roles which needs leadership skills and experience and less amount of travel - helping me get ready for the next stage in my family lifecycle.

Anonymous said...

I have always given priority to my private time over everything else, especially work and I have no complaints on where I am in my career either.
A lot of times people ask me how do you get time to write and research so much for your blog.What they miss out is the time most of the posts are penned... after all is quite you can still steal some time for your self and for the ones you love.For starters I have always lived within 2 kms from my office since I started working.Just imagine how much time I would have spent on the roads otherwise !
Work life balance is BS prompted by silly media and new age gurus who have fools as their followers - folks who cannot think on their own.

Unknown said...

Rajnish (aahang), great to see a comment from a lucid blogger like you! Thanks for taking time to read through.