Work/life balance and proud of it

By Karen Murphy | August 11, 2013

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Karen Murphy

Director, Media & Campaigns

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Karen Murphy

Director, Media & Campaigns

After years of managing top accounts, Karen now leads the charge on strategic media planning and campaigns. One of our most studious FVMers, she devours webinars and whitepapers on a daily basis to deliver a fresh perspective on all things marketing. With three sons, a husband, and five nephews, she spends the rest of her time happily outnumbered by boys.

Hours of client research completed:whatever number comes after an octillion

# of conclusions jumped to:0.00

Honor-bound duties:understand client needs, finish leftovers

Only thing holding hair at bay:Aussie Sprunch spray

Care instructions:requires direct sunlight, frequent watering

As a working mom, an article in my LinkedIn news feed immediately caught my eye.

Article writer Sallie Krawcheck, former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America, illuminated an alarming (but not surprising) fact:

Working women who choose to have children are breaking into two broad groups: one works full-time, holding on, exhausted, through their children’s younger years. A full 60% (!) of these moms wish they had a flexible work option. And the other group – 5.4 million of them – steps out of the workforce during those years … and pays the economic price. On trying to re-enter, 73% report trouble finding a job; and those who successfully do so suffer precipitous drops in income.

Sallie goes on to suggest that smart companies will start offering “flexibility without shame,” recognizing that certain times in employees’ lives are more trying than others and require different “workstyles.” This need for flexibility doesn’t mean those employees are any less dedicated to their careers.

This particular topic is one thing I have always loved about working at FVM. It’s clear that this place values its employees, and is willing to enable flexible work hours to make life easier. As long as the work is getting done, and the client is getting the results they expect and deserve, the agency partners are open to non-traditional arrangements (within reason, of course!).

I consider myself lucky to have an extra half hour in the morning to get my 3 year old and 1 year old boys’ day off to a calmer, happier start. Compare my mornings now with when my work day started at 9, and I found myself losing patience and screaming, “YOU ARE MAKING ME LATE!!” at a toddler who was feeling great pains and exhibiting desperate behavior at the thought of putting on pants. (I get it, Tom, I like shorts better, too.)

I can now, on weekday mornings, calmly look at the clock approaching 8:30, and handle the pants tantrum with more patience. Not going to lie, we still struggle with clothing choices on some days, but my toddler now has a much saner mom who can work through the issue at hand. And for that, FVM, I am eternally grateful.

Hopefully more companies start recognizing that enabling employees to work flexibly during parts of their careers is a smart long-term investment. It will make for a world filled with happy toddlers wearing seasonal-appropriate clothing, and moms who can start their workdays without tears.

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