My IM/IT consulting career started in one of the big firms where I learned a lot about process and methodology, gained a lot of experience working with individuals and teams, and met many amazing folks. I loved it, loved the people, loved the projects, loved the travel, and loved the non-stop challenges.
Life Change #1
And then…life changed and I didn’t love parts of it anymore. I didn’t love the hours, the 7-days/week schedule, the lack of control of my personal time. So…I took a deep breath, took back control, and set out on my own, this time as an independent contractor providing services through a small consulting boutique.
In that phase of my career, life was more balanced. With some careful schedule management and prioritization, I could take on enough work so that I was fulfilled and challenged, but not so much work that it would interfere with the rest of my life. To me, the balance was perfect.
Life Change #2
Enter – the birth of my son.
“They” say it changes you, and it did. Sleepless nights aside, it changed my view of career and the role it plays in my life. I returned to work after six months (when 12 months is the cultural norm) and found work and roles that allowed me to balance time at home with time in the office and also gave me enough flexibility to attend my son’s activities and appointments when I wanted. For me, the balance worked.
Looking around at one of my peer groups – professional women with young families – I know that many were not able to find a balance that worked for them. Some asked their employers for flexible arrangements and were denied, forcing them to make a decision about what to do. Options that they reviewed included returning to the same role and same circumstances, not returning at all, or returning to a different role with more flexibility (sometimes in a different organization). Some of the factors that were frequently under consideration were: cost of child care, ability to spend time with their family, income, opportunity to use their experience/education, and their ability to stay in a job they considered meaningful. At the end of the day, the decisions were very important, extremely personal and often very stressful.
After discussing this with friend after friend, colleague after colleague, and hearing story after story, I decided to take matters into my own hands and started to craft the idea that would eventually become Work Evolution.
I firmly believe that work-life balance is critical both to individuals and to organizations. My goal for Work Evolution is to help organizations hire professionals in flexible jobs. This means helping organizations recognize the value of flexible work and what opportunities may exist within their organization for professionals. It also means helping professionals learn about and discover flexible jobs, while building a strong community of flex-working professionals.
This is important to me and it is in alignment with my own values. Care to join me?