One of the things I love about my current role is that I’m senior enough to manage my work life balance in a reasonable way. When I need to, I leave the office at 5 – forward my phone to my mobile, and log onto the office (completely seamlessly) from home. Mostly, my clients are more impressed than annoyed to hear the kids in the background on the (rare) occasions when I need to take a call when I’m looking after them without my husband.
So when a colleague in a related part of the business set up a weekly meeting at 5pm on Mondays (one day in the week when I must leave the office at 5 on the dot), I protested. Vigorously. The meeting is still there, and I’m not attending.
The more I think about it, the more important it is that I stick to my guns. It’s not just about me and my family life (important though that might be), its about showing people junior to me that it is worth aspiring to a senior role in this organisation. Being senior doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you spend your waking hours at work; it can mean that you spend 40 hours a week in the office. And one of the great things about being a consultant is that as long as you give the client good service, the client doesn’t care where you are while you do that.