When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

19 September 2008

Achieving work-life balance

BusinessWeek is running a piece on how people have - and haven't - successfully achieved that state of enlightenment known as "work-life balance".
Does this sound familiar? 350 e-mails a day in my inbox. BlackBerry, cell phone, and laptop constantly in tow. Check my Outlook calendar and see that I'm double- or triple-booked in meetings every hour, plus a 7 a.m. global conference call. Being told by management that we cannot hire additional head count because of a hiring freeze, despite the hefty increase in responsibilities for my team. That was me a year ago. The red tape, politics, ridiculous expectations, and meager resources made it nearly impossible to do my job as an advertising and brand manager for a large tech company...

...I quit. So did my husband, who worked in a top advertising agency. In fact, we both quit on the same day: Sept. 11, 2007. We decided that life was too short and we had had enough. What was our worst-case scenario if we quit? Having to sell our home and look for jobs elsewhere? Better than losing our marriage and our sanity.

Our friends and colleagues could not understand it. Rumors were flying that we had come into some family money. Nope. Just several years of saving for a rainy day. And boy, was it pouring. My husband started consulting immediately. I wanted to spend some time with my ill father. The marketing consulting business my husband started took off, and because of our similar backgrounds and experience, it was a natural fit for us to work together.

Ten months after quitting, we have more business than we can handle. My husband named the business reeboot strategy because in explaining our rationale for quitting our big corporate jobs he would say: "We needed to hit Control + Alt + Delete on our lives and start over."
Work-Life Balance: How To Get A Life And Do Your Job (BusinessWeek.com)

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