Posted by: kaitlynproffitt10 | December 1, 2012

I don’t know how she does it.

     The other night I was watching the film I don’t Know How She Does It and thought it was a wonderful representation of the idea of work/life balance. The premise of the film is about a woman with two kids and a highly demanding job. Attached at the bottom is the trailer for the film, which sums it up for those of you who have not seen it. 

     I thought it was interesting to see another perspective of work/life balance, where I could recognize all of the different aspects. The main message that i received from this film was that even when you try to find the perfect balance there will still be multiple aspects of your life that you will have to give up or miss out on. Is it worth having a prestigious position in the workplace if you have to miss out on the things that matter to you most?

     By the end of the film the lead woman finally stands up to her boss and demands to have more time off to spend with her children. Her boss agrees and grants her request since she closed a million dollar deal with a client. This made me think that maybe all it takes for women to receive more time with the people that mean the most to them is by finding the courage to ask their boss for that time. What do you think are the qualifications for women to receive more time off from work to do the things that bring them the most happiness?

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Responses

  1. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know exactly how the story goes, or how respected in her company she is, or how long she’s been there or anything. However, to answer your question, I think the way anyone should be able to get time off to do the things outside of work that they like is to do several things:

    1. Put in the time at work – if you put in time and effort, you will see a pay out. Once you’ve achieved a certain amount of work hours, people will see you as an asset and will do what they can to help you out.

    2. Earn the respect of colleagues – If you do good work and others notice it, you will gain respect among the people you work with and the higher ups. If the work you’re doing is good and consistent, other people will notice and you will be rewarded

    3. Just ask – My mom always says, “I can’t say yes if you don’t ask”. If you want something, you have to gather up the courage to ask for something that you want or need. You cannot expect other people to know that you want time off for personal stuff, you have to be direct and share what you need as well as being willing to be flexible with the people around you.

    I hope some of these solutions are somewhat applicable. Any responses?

  2. I agree with Susan here. I was actually about to write something incredibly similar. When I did my second interview, I asked about the work-life balance, and she told me that she worked twice as hard when she was at work and always took off when she needed to be there for her children. Of course by the time she really got to that point, she had already been there for a few years and had built up a reputation.

    Honestly, I think that building a reputation is the most important thing anyone can do. If the people you work for know that you will do a good job, even if your hours are strange, then they will be more likely to work with you. For the past 3 years I worked in a mathematical research setting in which my boss didn’t care what time I showed up or left, so long as I “did my time”. There were many days when I would come in an hour early or leave an hour late to take a long lunch, go to any appointments, or to get home early. What mattered to my boss was that I got the work done in a timely matter and was putting in my hours. I still maintained a pretty typical work schedule around 8-6, while some of my colleagues worked hours like 12p-9p. Of course this could just be the environment I was in, but I do believe that no matter where you work, if your boss knows that you will do a good job, that’s what they care about the most.


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