We just published a piece where Fi looked at the discussions around ‘having it all’ and if this is possible and what the dynamics are around this and two days ago, the NYTimes published yet another piece on Is There Life After Work. This really struck me from the piece:
I have often wondered whether I would have been asked to be C.F.O. if I had not worked the way that I did. Until recently, I thought my singular focus on my career was the most powerful ingredient in my success. But I am beginning to realize that I sold myself short. I was talented, intelligent and energetic. It didn’t have to be so extreme. Besides, there were diminishing returns to that kind of labor.
As a health and lifestyle coach I talk to women A LOT about this aspect of their lives. Their careers and how it defines them or doesn’t and what this means to them. At some point or another, and it’s not just women, but we come across this point in our lives—should I stay or should I go? The questions range from:
- Being “married” to your career or reclaiming some of that energy to put into building or maintaining a family/relationship;
- Moving to a head office job–the same head office you liked to complain about ad naseum when in the field and will this mean you can reclaim some space to have a ‘life’ outside of work which I have come to see loosely translating to, doing things outside of work like going to the movies, taking yoga/spinning/music/massage therapy classes, a nice dinner with friends without the niggling feeling of violating a curfew etc.
- I’m sick and tired of aid work and the pressures and politics it brings with it but not sure what else I can do and I know I want to do something else but how do I get there?
Trying to work through all of this is really a challenge for people—any transition really is. But at the heart of this is very much the need for a work life balance and not being able to get this. Why is it STILL such a struggle for us? And how are you supposed to cope?
A further thought—are we just blowing this whole thing out or proportion? I would love to hear from the women who are not trying to get out of the aid sector or those that have indeed found the increasingly elusive work life balance. How do you do it? My clients are all on their own journey’s and prioritizing for themselves what works and how they are going to go about achieving this and I am seeing great (and widely different!) strategies on this. Those of you thinking and doing this on your own….what’s your thoughts on this?