Archive for category Work-life balance
In this post, I’m doggedly continuing my pursuit to explore the idea of career success.
We started with a simple binary distinction: objective success versus subjective success. We realised that this was somewhat crude and that a bit more subtlety might be useful.
In the previous post, we added an extra dimension about how you might measure success (self-referent versus other-referent comparison).
Now it’s time to take things multidimensional!
As the post on existentialism has been one of my most popular, I thought I would do something more on the subject of meaningfulness.
And when it comes to meaning, it seems that three is a magic number.
But first a short story (involving three workers)…
A traveller comes across a group of three men who are working hard smashing boulders with large hammers.
He asks them what they are doing.
The first man answers, ‘I’m using my strength and skill to make big rocks into small rocks.’
The second man answers, ‘I’m working to earn money so that I can feed and support my family.’
The third man answers, ‘I’m preparing the raw materials to build a cathedral for the glory of God.’
Which of these three men was doing the most meaningful work?
In our work with foundation doctors choosing their specialties, I pose a number of questions to help them to think about their choice in more depth. One of these questions is, ‘Have you thought about how your priorities will change over time?’ One of the female doctors accused me of aiming this question specifically at women because they are the ones likely to have to consider issues of work-family balance. However, many of the male doctors I’ve spoken to have also raised the issue of working hours and their impact on life outside work.
Last week the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published the research report Working Better: Fathers, family and work – contemporary perspectives. This quote from the conclusions sums up the main findings of the research.
The findings from this survey show that fathers’ attitudes towards parenting do not appear to match the reality of their work and care arrangements. Their rejection of traditional views, dissatisfaction with the time they spend with their children and their strong support for extended paternity leave shows a willingness to be involved in the day-to-day care of their children. In practice, however, most fathers still work full time, and many work long hours.
See the press release for other key highlights. In the report, they admit that the figures may be unrepresentative because men who are actively involved in sharing responsibilities for parenting are more likely to respond to the survey. Similarly, male doctors who are particularly concerned about work-life balance may be more likely to attend optional career management sessions.
In 2005 Lisa Mainiero and Sherry Sullivan introduced the concept of Kaleidoscope Careers as a way to describe the changing priorities over the course of a person’s working life.