Building a community of women who work in technology – hosted by Betsy Speare, Jennifer Marsman & Helene Love Snell

Archive for the ‘Work life balance’ Category

And I heard a woman say…

This week’s blog post is the perfect post for the first of the year – inspirational for both men and women.  I keep threatening to write the “why I hate email” blog post but you were saved once again by a much better topic.  I suspect you’ll see a lot more of  guest blogger Stacey Sargent on this forum – I already can’t wait to see what she writes for us next!

BTW, don’t miss the big blog improvements this week – we’ve got facebook and twitter buttons! Whoo hoo!

Betsy Speare, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Windows Server, Happy Family member, new Green Lake, Seattle Resident, 15 years at Microsoft, EWU CIS grad and chicken farmer (up two chickens, now laying eggs – thanks to the Macleod’s).

Guest Blogger – Stacey Sargent.  This awesome post is all you need to know (oh, and there’s more at the bottom about her…)

Last fall I had the opportunity to attend two women’s conferences in a row. The first was the Grace Hopper’s Celebration of Women in Computing in Atlanta, and the second was the Women’s International Network (W.I.N.) Global Leadership Conference in Paris.

There was one message that resonated from both experiences.  It seemed to follow me where ever I went, hanging there like a brilliant star in the forefront of my mind.  I couldn’t ignore it.  At first, I felt the message might be shining just so I personally could see it and learn from it.

What I realize now is that everyone needs to hear this message – especially women.  Women who thirst for more in their life.  Women who aspire.  Women who want something challenging AND meaningful.

The message was articulated precisely by Pascale Dumas, of HP France, at W.I.N.  When asked what she would do differently if she had to do it all again, she answered simply (with a beautiful French accent of course), “I would take more risks.”

I would take more risks.

And then I watched two different panel discussions, each containing successful women leaders who echoed the same message.

I would take more risks.

For me, it translated into the present tense: take more risks.  Now.  Period.  End of sentence.  No caveats.  No additions.  No stipulations.

Take more risks.  NOW.

With this new bright star message in my mind, it is now illuminating everything and I see the need for it everywhere.  Opportunities to take more risk.  Openings to define what risk might be for me.  New ways to look at what taking risk gains for me or what is truly at stake if it goes awry (usually what might go wrong is less than I imagine).  And I can see it in all of the women I work with – their struggle to have the self-confidence to take risks. .

In a recent interview at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Ginni Rometty, the new (and first female) CEO of IBM, talked about the importance of self-confidence in taking risks.

“Really early in my career, I can remember being offered a big job. And I can remember [my] reaction to the person who offered it to me. I right away said, ‘You know what? I’m not ready for this job. I need more time, I need more experience and then I could really do it well.’

So I said to him, ‘I need to go home and think about it.’

I went home that night and told my husband, and I’ve been married 32 years now, and he’s just sitting there. As I’m telling him about this, he just looked at me and said, ‘Do you think a man would have ever answered that question that way?’

……What [that] taught me was you have to be very confident even though you’re so self-critical inside about what it is you may or may not know. And that, to me, leads to taking risks.”

I believe taking risks is an important life lesson that we all must continue to learn and practice.  To practice self-confidence even when we have doubts.  To lean in and take more risks, and see what happens.

I have been practicing this art (not science) of taking risks more frequently and here are a few things I have learned:

  • I am very often much more      successful than I think I will be (read this as “don’t believe everything      you think”).
  • When I take the risk, something of      value ALWAYS comes out of it.  Aligned      with  what Rometty said, this is      when I learn the most and gain valuable experiences.
  • Taking risks doesn’t get      easy.  It is getting a bit more      manageable, but I have accepted that it will NEVER be easy or simple.
  • Having support through my friends,      family and colleagues helps me bear the challenge of taking risks.  But it only works when I SHARE it with      them and talk to them about what I am trying to do. The icing on the cake      is they are all there cheering for me regardless of result.
  • It pays off.  By taking risks I’ve had higher and higher      degrees of accomplishment (my definition of accomplishment, not anyone      else’s definition).
  • It can have an exponential effect      in many ways.  More risk taking      (with both success and survival) leads me to take even more risk.
  • I now have real data that shows my      success rate and the reality of what being unsuccessful feels like.  I’ve learned that I survive the risks      that don’t turn out well.  I might      be disappointed or sad, but that doesn’t last forever.
  • A critical component is to      PRACTICE my self-confidence (more on that in a future article!).

In my leadership and development work, which I do predominantly with women in technical companies, I see the challenges in building self-confidence and taking risks.  It can be a battleground.  But I have also witnessed a large number of women who continue to learn, grow, and RISK.  What a privilege to be part of the tribe of women who forge this path every day.

Best of success (which means, best wishes in your learning)!

“Growth and comfort do not co-exist.” ~Ginny Rometty

Stacey Sargent is the founder and principal at Connect Growth and Development, a leadership and people development company that works with individuals, teams and organizations helping them create definitions of authentic success that can be leveraged to gain more satisfying and fully-connected results. Stacey has a passion for working with women who aspire to combine achievement and meaning in their work and life. She works with clients and groups at Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia and more offering long term growth programs, workshops, facilitation and coaching. Clients value Stacey’s ability to bring a supportive yet challenging nature, an approachable manner, to ask right questions and bring focus to what really matters. The company tagline, “WHAT REALLY MATTERS” is Stacey’s focal point for bringing her passion and support to her clients, in the places and ways that matter. She can be reached at Stacey@ConnectGD.com or at www.ConnectGD.com.

Principles embraced while accidentally creating work life balance.

Layla Driscoll is our guest blogger this week – it is so optimistic and well thought out – I thought it would be a nice “balance” to the crazy pre-holiday-get-it-all-done-before-next-week tendency I have!  Don’t miss her tips for finding a healthy balance.  BTW for those interested in Sheryl Sandberg’s talk a few weeks ago – here’s the link.  Very inspiring!

Betsy Speare, Principal Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Windows Server, Happy Family member, new Green Lake, Seattle Resident, 15 years at Microsoft, EWU CIS grad and chicken farmer (down 1 chicken due to racoon)!

To follow the Women in Technology Blog – go to https://womentech.wordpress.com/feed/

Principles embraced while accidentally creating work life balance.

In her 7 years at Microsoft, Layla Driscoll has worked on tablets (back before they were cool), in the cloud (OfficeLive/Office365), and now she is a Program Manager on the .NET Common Language Runtime.  The tech side is what brought her here, but she also has extreme passion for the people side of software development. Layla’s path to Microsoft, which includes jobs from retail to electrical work on a proton accelerator, wasn’t exactly a straight shot. She is the daughter of a Flamenco dancer and while growing up, she spent more time in Spain than playing with computers. In fact, Layla got into Computer Science in college kind of by accident. Today, she is sharing a few of her principles on work life balance that she also learned a bit by accident.

Layla

I  think there is some level of truth that any successful person at Microsoft (and I assume at most tech companies) will work long hours sometimes. However, I don’t think it has to be in contradiction to a balanced life. In essence, what brings balance is defining what is personally important and doing that (with a bit of flexibility). We often leave perceptions unchallenged and give control of our lives to others. Regardless of when I come in or how many times I check my email in a day, when I am living with integrity about how I spend my time at work and out of work, my life feels balanced.

Until recently, the phrase “work life balance” was completely lost on me – subconsciously avoiding any conversation on the topic. A few weeks ago, I found myself in a room of people I highly respect and a discussion of work life balance broke out. I was utterly useless in the conversation. All I could add was a bold statement of not having any work life balance issues.

Before you think this makes me unqualified to write a lengthy post on the topic, please read on.

                                                   Visiting Spain  LaylaInSpain

After that conversation, it took a few days of background processing to realize that I’ve actually given thought to many aspects of life that have huge impact on work life balance – I just never called it that. I’ve worked on being more efficient, reducing stress/working with clear thought, understanding my motivations and desires, organization and planning, having appropriate boundaries, and taking care of myself. All of these are critical aspects of having work life balance – I just hadn’t stopped to think about it. Silly, I know.

While my thoughts on work life balance are newly codified, I’ve been practicing and evolving supporting techniques far before I joined Microsoft and before I had ever heard the phrase. I share this background as a reminder of how much our perception and the words we use shape our challenges. With that, here are my thoughts and some of the things I do, which allow me to have a work life balance I’m happy (enough 🙂 ) with.

1. Understand why you work long hours.

It’s much easier to change a habit when you know why you do it. I ask myself questions like: what are you afraid of about creating balance? Are you afraid that people won’t think you are a hard worker or committed? Are you afraid to say no to projects? Do you worry about trusting others when you delegate? The flip side is if there is something to gain. Do you think it will get you respect? Does it make you feel important? Which of these are legitimate and which are perception? How important is it – is it worth the sacrifice? Sometimes it is just a matter of getting caught up in the day to day, but if I have underlying drivers, I want to know.

2. Define work life balance for you.

It is hard to get something when you don’t know what it is. Work life balance is different to everyone. It changes over time and with what is at work and in our lives at that moment. From my statements throughout, you should have a good idea of how I define it.

3. Balance does not necessarily mean rigid splits.

Yes, I check my email at odd hours of the morning and night. Some days I come in really early and others I don’t. During some projects I might work really long hours and weekends. Then at other times I may have something really important outside of work and I make time for that. I consider my life balanced when there isn’t an area of my life that is preventing me from living with joy most of the time. Working extra on something that energizes me leaves me with enough vitality to do what I want outside of work. The amount of time I have capacity for changes over time and with different project or teams. It also isn’t about having perfect balance in everyday; it is about balance in life.

4. Decide which things are non-negotiable and stick to it.

If I have a yoga or improv class and I need to leave at a specific time to get there, I leave. Usually I just have it on my calendar and that handles it. If there is a meeting or other situation that is still going, I politely explain that I need to leave – ideally making the comment of having a hard stop from the beginning. There are rarely things urgent to the hour. If something has to be done that night and I really don’t want to miss class, I see if doing it later that night is an option. Then, when really needed (rather than just perceived) I’m flexible and stay. In the end, I don’t have time to do everything that I want to, but I have to stay fulfilled in each aspect to a certain threshold. Rather that deciding, that only working X hours is work life balance, figure out what you need to make time for to make you happy and just do it.

5. Schedule life holistically.

Closely related to the last point, put the important things on your calendar. If you live by your outlook reminders at work, use it for life too. If find this helpful for 2 main reasons. First, it makes it easy to remember. I don’t trust my memory to remember when to go to a team meeting. Second, it’s important to make the time. If I just rely on doing something when I happen to have free time, it will never happen. I have a habit of filling my time to full capacity. I have to carve out time. Lastly, it protects the time. If your calendar shows you busy, most people won’t schedule over it and when people do, it is a little easier to decline or suggest another time if your calendar looks busy ahead of time.

6. Working longer hours isn’t more productive.

Some people think longer hours always mean more/better work. I firmly disagree. Yes, hard work and hours are important, however, diminishing returns kick in. Either the work just gets stretched over more time or you work into a mode of being unproductive/less creative/tired etc.

7. Maximize peak time.

We all have times where we are more or less productive/creative etc. If you know yourself well enough you can plan to maximize the use of that time. For me, I can do some of my best work from my couch at 6 or 7am. Rather than trying to force my work time into standard hours or sitting in front of my desk, I use that time to get a jump on the day. Then if things come up, I’m already a little ahead. If your brain stops working – stop working. Several hours of your time to get what could be a 30 min task isn’t worth it.

8. Work on something that feeds your life.

I’ve had projects I’ve loved and those I haven’t. There are also skills and activities that energize me that aren’t built-in to my job. I have to make time to do those things. I try my best to find a way to add value to the team while doing so, but if I can’t, I find another person or group to help. If I’m not doing enough things that really get my passion going, the draining things overpower me. The more alive my work makes me feel the more it counts on the lifeside of the balance. <slight_tangent> management needs to know what you like or want to do before the project is available so they can keep an eye out. You don’t always get what you ask for, but you rarely get what you want when you don’t ask for it. </slight_tangent>

9. Be careful of raising the work-duration standard.

First, if you legitimately might be needed, let the right people know you will be gone or at least leave an auto-reply or Lync message. With that out of the way, I’ve had a couple of colleagues (mostly male) talk about the impression sending frivolous oofs/leaving early messages. Basically by sending an “I have to leave early but I’ll be back online later” email at 4 pm does 2 things. 1) It makes everyone feel the pressure to work late hours regardless of the work they have done or when they came in. 2) it gives the impression you don’t think the team can survive without you for a few hours. This is just one example. The point is, if you want a better work life balance, be carefully of the standard you imply.

10. Take responsibility for how you spend your time.

You decide when you work and how you work. If you want to get more done in less time there are many resource. Are you doing more than you need to? Do you need to delegate? Are you doing projects that don’t really need to be done by you? Be deliberate about how you use your time. Learn to say no nicely. If others are making an assumption about when you will work or a deliverable, reset the expectation. Are others not pulling their weight and you are taking up all of the slack? Don’t go to meetings if you don’t need to be there. Schedule 30 minute meetings when all you need is 30 minutes. In most cases people are happy to respect your boundaries, but they won’t know what they are if you don’t ask.

11. Free your mind.

If you can’t stop thinking about some work task when you are at home or some home task when you are at work, deal with it. Either keep a list and add to it so you won’t forget later or just do it. If the distraction slows down your work or prevents you from enjoying the company of a loved one, no one wins. If it is a quick thing, give yourself permission to make that call, run that errand, or clearly capture the idea for later.

12. Minimize firefighting.

If there is an urgent issue that you can solve, rock on. However, take stock of how many fire drills you create and how often you interject into fire drills others create. Is there a way to reduce those with better planning? Do all of those fires need to be put out? Will they burn out themselves? Unfortunately creating and then fixing problems and fire drills can get rewarded here. For the good of yourself, others, the product, try to prevent the drama of needing to be a super hero.

13. Accept that you don’t need to be part of every conversation.

There can be fear that missing some meeting or not being a part of a conversation will leave your unprepared and useless. Yes, if you miss key information and aren’t in the right place to influence hall way decisions; you will end up in a bad place. However, being there for everything doesn’t scale and isn’t the most efficient way. Build strong relationships with people. Make sure they know what information you are interested in. Let it be in their best interest to give you information (you include them, treat the information with respect, whatever it is that maters for the situation). Then build up a pattern of how the information comes to you or that you are sought out when you are actually needed.

14. Stop spending time feeling guilty.

Whether you feel guilt for not being home or for not being at work, the guilt isn’t helping. Take that time and give fully to whichever you are at now. Guilt just takes up time and builds a negative vibe. Practice by thinking of one thing to be grateful for in that moment as soon as you notice guilt.

15. When out of balance, acknowledge it and make a plan for correction.

If I’ve reached a consistent pattern of being drained, feeling overworked, or stressed, I stop and assess. Will this end on its own and I just need to get through it? Have I taken on the wrong things or developed inefficient habits? Am I unfocused and if so would working from home or the café (if I don’t have meetings) help? Have I neglected important things in my life? Do I need to find even a few minutes to meditate?

16. Know why living a balanced life matters for you.

When I am out of balance I rely only computational thinking and lose touch with my wisdom – that isn’t my ideal working mode. I am a more productive, creative, and happy person when I make room for a full life. Knowing why it’s valuable for me helps me prioritize it.

To me this list is more than work life balance tips. These are principles I practice on my journey of life while working. Even tips on balance should be used in balance and moderation. It’s a long list which doesn’t need to be applied 100% or all at once to be effective. Over time I focus on different aspects more than others. If I forget one for too long the world has a way of giving me an opportunity to relearn it. Of course we each have different situations and there for need different approaches. I hope that you are able to find a nugget or 2 from my list that inspires a path to balance in your life. I’d love to hear what works for you or other things that cause imbalance that I’ve missed.

LaylaWalkingBudapestLayla in Budapest

–Layla Driscoll

Seeking Success as a Technical Woman: Sponsors make the difference

I am so lucky to know Jimin!  Smart, compassionate, genuine and determined, she is an inspiration to everyone who knows her.  I love her post this week because it hits on a key success pivot – Sponsorship.  This is different from mentoring.    Mentoring is about growth, learning, working through issues and decision making.  Sponsors see your abilities and potential and look for the opportunity to champion your career.  Next, we need some posts on finding a sponsor and how you can create those relationships that make a difference.  Any volunteers?  Some sponsor focused resources… if we care about retaining mid-level women in technical careers (and we do), this NCWIT overview gives some good big picture approaches.  I also really like this article Deb McFadden has been passing around on why “Sponsorship is Key to Women’s Success.”  Love the comments and if you want to write a blog post regarding Women in Tech, send it me! Now – on to Jimin…   – Bets

 

Betsy Speare, Principal Program Manager Lead, Windows Server Microsoft, Happy Family member, new Green Lake, Seattle Resident, 15 years at Microsoft, EWU CIS grad and chicken farmer!

To follow the Women in Technology Blog – go to https://womentech.wordpress.com/feed/

 

Author:  Jimin Li, Principal Program Manager Lead, Window Web Services, Microsoft. Mom of 3 lovely kids, 17 years in US and 15 years at Microsoft, happily working on Windows 8, Tsinghua and UMN CS alumni!

JiminPic

Have you ever had a feel that your career seems at plateau for a while, or wonder why some of your colleagues seemingly moved much faster in their career? Honestly –  I’ve run into both situations in the past. I entered Microsoft as a college hire 15 years ago, and I have worked in different roles from test to PM, and from an individual contributor to a manager. When these situations happen, I’ve wondered how to push my career forward, especially as a woman? I want to share some thoughts this, and they are based on what I learned from a number of successful senior women in Microsoft, and some from my own experience.

First of all, we deserve to remind ourselves of how great we are:  being a woman in technology and fulfilling multiple roles on a daily basis as a co-worker, daughter, friend, mom, wife, and so on.  Often I wish there were 48 hours a day to juggle between the responsibilities among these different roles!

Second, as much as prioritization and work/life balance effort we are putting in, in order to push your career forward, the classic and basic rule is always: work hard!   A couple of quotes from some very successful women leaders: “Work harder and be smarter than my male colleagues!” “As a woman I can’t think of anything special I did to push my career forward other than just work really, really hard and make sure that I demonstrate an equal footing to the other “type A’s” at MS”. I agree with “work smarter, but not harder”, but I don’t think there is any shortcut of not working hard if you want to get to higher career level than where you are now.

What are some of the key accelerators in the career growth? It should not be a surprise to you: good sponsors and good opportunities. I talked to a few women who are senior directors or GMs. They all had some great executive who helped them to move their career to the next level and invested the effort of keeping them occupied with new and challenging tasks. With such sponsorship, they have more access to  good opportunities – it’s not free, of course, they also had to  work hard to prove themselves and  meet those high expectations.  Another comment – they had to be open to try new roles and take chances… and sometimes that role had no clear definition or boundaries.

Depending on what career stage you are at, you should learn to identify and look for the right sponsor for yourself. When I have career development discussion with my direct reports, we always talk about how to identify the web of their stakeholders who may have key impact on their performance evaluation. That’s mostly based on the current commitments they have, and my team found it quite useful. Regarding the sponsors, you have to be forward looking and be more strategic. Depending on what you like to do in next 1-2 years, it can be your own manager, your manager’s peers, some cross team managers who know your work well, or some previous manager that you had worked with. In my own case, after I was promoted to principal test manager, I felt next career stage as a test director was a little too far and not that thrilling to me, I talked to one of my skip level manager’s peers and she became my sponsor. I then joined her team and started my Program Management career. One more important note, after establishing the sponsorship, it should not take too long for you to figure out whether the sponsor is the right one you need. I would say 6-12 months is a good checkpoint.

As part of pushing our career forward, changing roles may come to mind to become an option. One rule of thumb is: don’t change if you are happy with where you are. Happiness is pretty hard to define and measure, especially for me as a woman. My manager, a woman and a partner GPM, shared her thoughts. Her point of view is that everyone should define a threshold of being happy. For her, given the challenges in work, her job satisfaction is maintained if she can be happy at overall 75% of time or above. This is particularly helpful when you feel down occasionally at work – try to take it as “it’s just one of those days” rather than using those days to judge your overall happiness about work. Relate to changes, my woman mentor also inspired me to think about career as a 30 year career. It helps me put a lot of things into perspective and be more strategic in driving up my career, including how to look at some temporary plateau in career with a positive attitude. Once you determine that you want to change, take an action and have a plan. Start to network and find opportunities, find a sponsor!

I hope this helps as a refresher, and I would love to hear what you think.

Your dream schedule in a tech company – it CAN be done! Four steps to find the schedule you want!

My intent was to mix up the topics every week, but I just LOVED this post – Anandi’s tone and attitude is perfect.  The “take charge of what you want” attitude really resonated with me – and I think it will with you as well.   Tangent:  here’s an extra link to a great article on the “Three Biggest Myths about Women in Tech” on VentureBeat – it makes me hopeful that this topic is becoming more mainstream and that perhaps we are on the verge of change…???  Course, I am a bit of an optimist.    BTW, i can’t figure out how to change the “written by” on this post – directions appreciated.  Enjoy…

To follow the Women in Technology Blog – go to https://womentech.wordpress.com/feed/

– Bets

An-web (2)Blog post by Anandi Raman Creath, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Corp.

Continuing the evolving discussion on work-life balance, I’m here to tell you that it *is* possible to get the work-life balance that you want. But like Amysaid, it’s not at all easy.

I’ve been lucky enough to work at Microsoft since 2002, and I’ve worked a compressed schedule, so I had every other Friday off and currently work part-time.

It’s a half-time schedule, so I’m in the office 2 days a week and do a little work from home on the other evenings. This allows me to spend 3 full days at home each week with my 2 year old. I’ve been working roughly this same schedule since I returned from maternity leave.

When I tell people at work about this uncommon arrangement, they get a wistful look in their eyes and say things like “wow, I wish I could do that” or “my job could never accommodate that” or “you’re so lucky, I’d never be allowed to do that”.

NOT TRUE, people! I started out just like everyone else, working 45+ hours, email every waking moment, fielding questions and putting out fires for a company-wide initiative. And who could forget those delightful summer Saturdays spent in the office?

And then I realized I wanted more out of life than just work. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, and I love my company with its myriad opportunities and amazing people. But I wanted time for myself and my hobbies, and more recently, time to really *enjoy* this new family thing we’ve got going on.

It goes without saying that this is not just a womens’ issue. My husband requested (and got!) a compressed work week so that we could care for our daughter ourselves for her first year. He was home with her on the two days I worked, and then he’d go to work for the next 4 days. It was surprisingly easy to arrange this with our employer. Harder to get through the weeks without being completely exhausted, but that’s life, right?

So without further ado, here’s the advice I’ve given to many people who asked how they too can get the work schedule of their dreams. (Short of winning the lottery and quitting altogether, that is.)

How to get the sweet gig:

1. First, read up on your company’s policies and procedures around flexible work. If they don’t have them, you’ll need to decide how badly you want it, and then be the trailblazer and help them get a policy in place.

2. Figure out what *you* want with respect to work schedule and pay/benefits. A lot of people approach this as “I’ll do whatever my company lets me” but I think that’s the wrong way to go about it, and everyone leaves the discussion unsatisfied.

a. A compressed schedule (e.g. 4 day work week or 9 days/2 weeks) will allow you to keep a full time workload and salary, but you’ll have to work longer days to make up for the day you’re off.

b. A part-time schedule will give you reduced work hours (duh!) but also reduced pay and potentially fewer benefits. In addition, you’ll really need to think hard about how your work can be scoped to fit into fewer hours.

c. Telecommuting one or more days a week may not change your schedule, but may allow you to shift your schedule rather than spending time commuting.

3. Write up a short proposal detailing what schedule you’re requesting *and* addressing any concerns that might come up. You need to position it as something good for your work group, not just what’s in it for you.

4. Discuss with your manager. Be confident about what you’re asking for, and address his/her concerns with solutions. Be willing to discuss it “up the chain” as needed.

Once you’ve got the sweet gig:

· Be clear with your management and team about your work schedule and location(if you’re telecommuting). It really helps to have the same schedule each week so people get used to it.

· If you’re not in the office but working, BE AVAILABLE.I can’t stress this enough. Sign into IM, answer your phone and email in a timely fashion and call in to scheduled meetings. People need to know and see that you’re working. Sounds unfair, and we think people should “just notice” our awesome deliverables, but that’s not enough.

· A subset of the previous point – if you are working from home and your young kids are around, you MUST have childcare.There is no way you can do a great job working if you’re also taking care of your kids. Not putting in that “face time” at the office means you need to do an *extra* good job, and that’s not going to happen with distractions.

· If you’re working part time, don’t regularly work more than what you agreed to.Obviously you’ll have to put in extra hours around crunch time, but keep track of this, and make sure it evens out later. It makes no sense to work full-time hours on a part-time salary. If you have too much work to accomplish on your schedule, talk to your manager about prioritization.

· Be equally clear about your availability on days you’re not working. Give out your cell phone info for emergencies, but don’t accept non-urgent meetings and don’t respond to non-urgent emails either. You need to “train” people to understand your new schedule. They won’t respect it if you don’t.

· Review the arrangement periodically with your manager.Quarterly is good. Actively solicit feedback about what’s working and what’s not. Actually do something about what’s not working.

· Don’t be apologetic about having an unusual work arrangement. Be an ambassador, so people can see that we don’t have to chain ourselves to our desks 80 hours a week. Do great work and evangelize what you’re accomplishing and HOW you’re accomplishing it with your dream schedule and your newfound, totally awesome work life balance!

I’d love to hear other stories of flexible work arrangements, and any other tips you can share for making it work for everyone involved!

the house of peanut

check out Anandi’s blog at http://houseofpeanut.blogspot.com
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