Finding my balance …

Before i had my daughter , i never really bothered about balance. It just wasn’t anything that i needed to worry about. This changed seventeen months ago. I could no longer come and go as i pleased as there was a little girl who was soley depended on me.

The past seventeen months have taught me some key lessons. I have no doubt I will continue to learn more in the coming years. Today I will share some of my learnings. I acknowledge that coping mechanisms differ but I am sure you will glean something for your own journey.

1.Delegate to capable others both at work and at home. It’s pointless trying to be hero when it results on you burning out. At home it’s  starts with trusting others enough to allow them to help. At work it offers others a chance to learn and an opportunity for you to groom a successor for when you move higher.

2. Stop feeling guilty. Most working women will feel guilty about leaving their children at home and missing on key moments. When they are home they again worry about being at home and what could be happening at the office. Guilt is not a useful emotion. Find comfort in knowing that your work allows you /should allow you to live the life you want. If you cannot get past the guilt then it’s time to make some serious decisions.

3. Make a to do list either daily or weekly. I have found this truly helpful. It ensures nothing falls between the cracks, like forgetting to take the baby for that important innoculation/ immunization or missing the important client meeting. This is much easier with the type of technology we have these days so reminders should be set ahead of time.

4. Allow for rest periods in your to do list.  When at work take a walk around the block and get some fresh air. At home have some time for yourself without any interruptions.

5. Know that you can do it!  I have examples of close friends around me who are balancing just fine.  Having the positive outlook to it is a great start.  In the final year of my MBA I was expecting our daughter, doing my research dissertation, going to work daily and still playing other roles in my life (wife, sister, daughter in law …). I made it through and was even the best MBA student for my year. If I can do it,  so can you.

There are other things you can do to find your work life balance. I have shared what has worked for me.  I would love to hear from you how you are managing.  Let’s stay on the journey together. 

…of achievements and connections

We had a brief discussion with collegues a few days ago. The question that was asked was how do people in your organisation get promoted? Is it based on achievements or on connections?

 Anyone keen on progressing their career needs to have an answer to this question. Have an honest analysis of the various people that have been promoted in your organisation. Was is because they were high achievers or because they were well connected? What is important to understand is that this differs from one organisation to the next.

Lets break this down and define achievements as well as connections. 

Achievements are the objectives that you have met, the goals that you have delivered against, the victories that the company has enjoyed because of you. It is important that these achievements are easily attributed to you, either as the leader or ordinary employee, as an individual or as part of a team.

My definition of connections will be more broad. I would like to talk about the ‘godfather’. This person is not the same as a mentor. A mentor is someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced person. A mentor does not necessarily have to work for the same company as you. A ‘godfather’ on the other hand, might not necessarily share any knowledge with you. They will do that sometimes because you work in the same organisation. This person is  likely to be more senior  in the organisation. He/she will mention your name to the right people and speak of your achievements on your behalf in order to help you get ahead.

Now that we have defined achievements and connections, we need to ask the question again, does your organisation promote based on  your achievements or connections?

I encourage you to think seriously about this question if you would like to get ahead in your career. Can your achievements take you on the next step of your career, or you will need a ‘godfather’ to speak on your behalf? Whatever answer you come up with, work on having the best possible ammunition your need…but do not sell your soul to the devil.

I am keen to hear your feedback so please leave a comment and let us have a discussion