Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Careers, Long work hours and family life

Can one have a high flying successful career alongwith a great family and personal life?

Before you jump at me, heres my definition - Join as management trainee, CEO by 38-40 (give or take a few years) types and upward thereafter. The jury is open to "Is this the only definition of a great career", and I would be one of the first to disagree, but assuming that this is the definition of a great career, what happens?

Can you have a career like that without spending long time in work or related to work (networking, golfing, travelling)? And if you did all of that, surely, you would spend lesser time at home? With the partner and kids? Even if you have an excellent support system with armies of servants and inlaws and outlaws - your personal time that you spend with each other and kids would be less?

Therefore, you can be either a good parent or a "great" career oriented person?

Thoughts that came up after an email discussion on Jack Welchs remarks on Career women. If you dissect his remarks, you will see that it is not so much about women, it is more generic and it is really about the choices we make...


Prasanth said...

He basically says the same thing in his books - essentially that if you want to climb up the ladder, you have to sacrifice on "life" part of the so called "work - life balance".

Rama said...

I can give several examples of great careers where it's easy to find time for family.

1. Professor at a research university. Professors are solely responsible for their own time so they can manage it any way to fit into family needs. Also, they have minimal teaching obligations during summer vacations, so they can spend long times at home.

2. In fact, most people in the teaching profession in schools/colleges have the time to spend with their family. Especially because their work hours tend to match with the kids.

3. The freedom of time management also applies to people who follow a career where they don't work for others. Small businessman, architects, doctors, tax consultants, Artists and writers.

You seem to be thinking very narrowly in terms of a carrer :-)


neelakantan said...

Rama, that was my first disclaimer :)