Balancing Work and Life as a Woman in Comms

This post first published on Novitas’ blog, and is reproduced in full with permission.

How do you do it all? Do you have a fast-paced job trying to deliver the best services to your clients while managing family and getting dinner on the table at home? Are you a busy mom trying to juggle all the things and still have a professional career? Or a young professional trying to climb the ladder while still having a life?

Balancing work and life as a woman in comms is always challenging – especially if you are an overachiever who wants to excel at everything. One of the best things about working in communications? Flexibility.  One of the worst things? The variability and random “off” hours when we need to respond to a crisis for a client.

Most of the time, I prefer to edit everything on my computer and even print out longer documents and edit by hand (I know, I’m old school). However, in a pinch when I’m going 100 miles an hour in every direction, there are times I call an audible and text edits one by one over to my team as I read a document while at a basketball game for my kids, or in between the mom’s taxi runs after school.

We have so many advantages today – not the least of which is the huge increase in flexible work schedules that came with the pandemic. Technology – especially having everything at our fingertips on our phones – as well as Zoom meetings, conference calls, emails, text messages, and more; all of these things allow us to truly work from anywhere. Whether we are in the school pickup line, on spring break with our kids (as I was last week), or sitting in our home offices or actual offices, the ability to work from anywhere and everywhere really does make it possible for us to be present as much as possible for both our clients and work obligations, as well as our families.

For me, that flexibility is absolutely necessary. I’ve often said that work/life balance is something each of us must figure out for ourselves. My solution is to be able to work from my phone or take my computer with me everywhere I go – and therefore I really do work from wherever I might be – to be able to travel with my husband and/or my kids across the country or around the world. I often triage my email for days at a time and catch up for a couple of hours early in the morning or late at night while traveling.

As someone in a leadership role of a busy PR firm, I try to give 110% to each of my clients, as well as being there for each of my kids’ activities – all of the big and small moments that are the center of their universe. It is not always easy, and I’ve been known to drop the ball. We have to tell our kids no, or delegate some of those parenting “jobs” to others – be it friends, grandparents or other relatives, or someone trusted that we hire to help us do all the things. One of the things I have to remind myself to do within our firm, is to also delegate things to our team members. I ran my own firm for a very long time, and it is still sometimes foreign to me to let go and not do it all myself.

Whether you are a single shingle operation – as I was for more than a dozen years – a small firm, or a large corporation, always remember that asking for help to shoulder the load (just as we all need help as parents sometimes) is good for everyone. Having input from others gives a different perspective and makes the work product better.

Work/life balance is about figuring out the best way (for you) to ensure that all the work is taken care of and is still top notch, while also making sure you don’t burn out. Making yourself step back and go out to dinner, take a girls night, or carve out time for a movie night at home helps you deliver more for your clients when you come back to work. You will be able to refocus and bring your own new perspective, because you took that step back and did something completely away from work. And your family and friends will all enjoy that break too!

Balancing work and life is all about figuring out what is best for you and your family.

Check out these other posts on work/life balance:

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