(Recently Ivyexec.com CEO and Founder, Elena Bajic, shared her thoughts on how to find work life balance when you work for a “Dragon Boss”.)
I can relate to working for a “Dragon Boss.” Not so much because I ever did, but because I was a “Dragon Boss” in my day—long ago before three kids, a dog, a live-in mother-in-law and a house in the suburbs, far, far, far away from NYC forced me to re-prioritize. In my “Dragon Boss” days I was 125% committed to my company, my boss (who was the CEO), and to delivering versus objectives—flawlessly. Young professionals with few external distractions fared best on my analyst team since our success demanded single– minded purpose.
I was transitioning out of my all-consuming job and had identified my successor—a talented finance professional who was a mom with two children. I remember her leaving at 5pm her first week on the job. Here was the building opportunity of a lifetime and she was leaving at 5pm. She would make dinner for her children, help them with homework and then work until 1am to stay on top of the workload. She was a consummate professional. Work/life balance? I didn’t get it. Then…
I get it now. I recently returned to the work force after a prolonged hiatus to raise a family. I love my new job, but now I’m the one dashing out the door at 5pm when the rest of the office is in full swing, swallowing guilt over the early departure because I have a long commute home, and children to feed and tuck in for the night. I am grateful I don’t work for the “old me.”
If work/life balance is important to you, necessary for you, here are some must do’s to manage the expectations of your “Dragon Boss.”
- Before you take a job, be totally honest with your prospective boss about the hours you will be available to work and stick to them.
- Make every minute at the office count. Minimize the chitchat. Carry in lunch, if you can. Try to work with maximum efficiency every day.
- Make every minute of your commute count, too. If you take public transit, use the time to reply to emails, organize your day’s work and tomorrow’s, and catch up on paperwork. If you are driving, and can safely do so, use that time to return phone calls.
- Think through your game plan for the day and tomorrow.
- Never over promise, even if you are by nature an overachiever and believe you CAN DELIVER.
- Just make your best effort every day.
I wish you great career success!
Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach