Like thousands of people, I've spent my 20s as someone who is highly dedicated to my career.
I hope I am known as someone who has always gone the extra mile to make sure we meet the required client deadlines.
However, moving into fatherhood I consciously decided I wanted to be able to be a dad, especially through the early days. I wanted to see my son develop and support my wife through what I knew would be a steep learning curve in our lives.
As Maurice (my CEO) has drilled into me for many years, 'If you do not adopt a mindset, one is subconsciously adopted for you'. So I did something about it.
In my role as Client Operations Manager for Blackswan, I directly manage multiple client projects at any given time, and often act as the key contact for our clients. How could this be done and how could I still ensure we meet all of our client deadlines while having the flexibility to be part of my son's life?
I have read a lot on the importance of work life balance and most of the recommendations are for flexible working hours. In our day to day business – and that of many others - the reality of meeting client deadlines in a global arena and managing a team effectively, this is far from easy to achieve.
When my son was born I made the conscious decision to alter my work life balance.
Using a simple coaching philosophy, I thought how could I do it better and differently? To be exact, how could I use my holidays to better effect? The solution? Use my holiday allowance to take Friday off every week for several months.
After the first 8 weeks I can say it is working well. From a work perspective I can go the extra mile over the days I am working, knowing I have 3 days every weekend to be a dad. I only need to hand over actions for one day, without being required to hand over full project control, and I am never disconnected from a project for a long period of time.
From a personal perspective I can support my wife, taking more child care responsibility on the days I’m at home, and have been able to spend the time with my son during his early development.
To anyone about to start a family and wondering how you can achieve a good work life balance, it might help to look at your role, the home life you desire, and what limitations you have. I have found the 4 day work to 3 day home split very effective. And so far I have not fallen asleep at my desk...much.
For more information on what we can offer you, contact us at Blackswan on +44 (0)845 603 2815 or email email@example.com