Finding A Work/Life Balance In A Senior Role
5 July 2017
If you’ve been reading any form of business news in the past year or so, you’ll no doubt have noticed the increasing use of one phrase in particular: work/life balance. A couple of weeks ago, I touched on this subject with regard to Father’s Day and working dads. Achieving your career goals whilst still being a hands-on parent can be a tricky path to navigate.
Certainly, the perks that come with a senior position, such as a company car, technology and an enhanced salary, might make you the envy of many. However, is it all worth it if you are constantly working late and feel like you cannot switch off?
It is, of course, possible to build a successful career (right up to director level) without tying yourself to the desk. It could be argued that, with the arrival of the current generation of Millennial workers, seventy hour weeks and zero personal life is quickly being relegated to the history books. Business are now aware that, even at the higher end of the career ladder, perks such as flexitime and agile working are highly sought after – as much as a higher salary or any other benefits.
Advances in technology, such as the ability to attend a conference via Skype or meet deadlines via email, have enabled senior level candidates to make good use of the flexitime offered to them. On the flipside of this, our 24/7 access to media and technology can sometimes make it feel like we’re always taking the office home with us.
Family life and raising children is often cited as the main reason for a better work/life balance. Young children won’t understand the difference between a £16k salary and a £60k one – they just want to spend time with their parents. In recent years, flexitime has allowed employees to drop the kids at school or read them a bed time story without feeling like they’re seriously falling behind at work. Whilst, at senior level, it is unlikely you will be able to skip in to the office at 10am and leave at mid-afternoon, there has been a little bit of a revolution when it comes to achieving a better work/life balance.
As I have said in my previous article, we shouldn’t feel forced to make a decision between being a partner / parent or being an employee. When CEOs and CFOs of huge multi-nationals such as EY or JP Morgan feel comfortable enough to miss conferences or meetings in order to have some family time, this should set a clear example to other senior employees across the globe. High salary or not, personal time is something everyone needs.
Work and personal life are very finely linked. If there are problems in one element, you can almost guarantee the other will suffer. That is why it makes no sense to make senior members of staff feel like they must work every hour given to them. If they are tired and feel like they never get a break, their work and input will naturally deteriorate.
The move away from the high-pressure, long hours senior role is not going to happen overnight. With bigger, international brands now recognising the need for more flexibility and a better work/life balance, however, change is afoot.
Here at HR Consultancy, many of our principal consultants and associate directors work part-time or ulitise the flexitime offered to them. We absolutely understand the value of such a ‘work perk’ in order to get the most out of our hard-working employees.
If you would like to speak to me about roles which offer a great work/life balance, I’d be delighted to help you with your job search. Click here to see my details and speak to me confidentially.
Written By Barry Lee