Anjali Sud, the 37-year-old Indian-American CEO of Vimeo was recently in the news for having transformed Vimeo into a NASDAQ-listed company. Just before she set out to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ to take Vimeo public she tweeted a picture with her two-and-a-half-year-old son and has talked about how she aspires for a work-life integration rather than work-life balance, as a working mother.
Gender disparity in education starts early with boys more likely to be enrolled in schools, offered private education, and sent off to professional colleges. Despite this disparity, data shows that girls get better grades than boys, even in STEM subjects in schools. In recent years, there has been a big increase in the number of women entering the workforce after their education. After having created a professional identity against odds, women find themselves wondering if it makes sense to continue working. One starts to wonders if a balance between the demands of professional work and responsibilities at home is ever possible. Without clarity, it is possible to feel incompetent in one's ability to find a balance.
An alternate way of approaching this problem is by aspiring Work/Life Integration. Work/Life Integration is a way of structuring time in a way where both professional and personal commitments are attended to without having to choose one over the other. Jobs that permit Work/Life Integration can be helpful to retain more women at workplaces. For women who juggle a greater share of care responsibilities at home, continuing to have a professional career becomes possible.
So, how does one make Work/Life Integration possible?
The first step is finding out how much of a work-life integration you want for yourself. Knowing how much time and effort you can commit to both work and life's responsibilities can help you make choices to achieve your needed work/life integration.
Individual contributor roles such as Digital Marketer, Website Developer, Recruiter, etc offer better opportunities to plan around work/life integration. Entrepreneurial jobs, part-time jobs, and fixed-time duration jobs can give you more flexibility to make work/life integration happen.
Contracting with your employer on a flexible working schedule is another way to integrate work and life. Segmenting time and breaking activities into smaller tasks can help to boost productivity and accomplish tasks when working on a flexible schedule.
Collaborating virtually is yet another way to integrate work around life. The pandemic has shifted perspectives around working from home yet using technology to stay virtually connected with workmates. Eliminating commute times, this work setup offers flexibility and control over one's working hours and also attends to responsibilities at home.
Work/life integration comes with its own set of limitations. If not managed with care, work can become all-consuming across other areas of life. When not focused, there is a possibility of slipping behind work schedules. It is important to know your professional and personal goals at any particular phase of your life so you can choose if Work/Life Integration is the best option for you.
About the Author
Jennifer Moses is a Career Guidance Coach at HerSecond Innings and a Counseling Psychologist based out of Bangalore. HSI community members can reach her by making at appointment at Coaching.
Her Second Innings supports women professionals on a sabbatical in their journey of getting back to work. The mission of HSI is to guide women to achieve financial independence. Support from HSI comes in the form of job interviews, reskilling programs in Automation and, free Career Guidance Counselling. Sign up with us and complete your profile to get a call from our counselors to know your job fit.
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