In the last couple of posts we have been talking about your responsibility to drive your career forward and whether you have actually sat down and thought about what you want from your life and career.
Very often in my experience professionals only tend to have clearly defined goals for their career. e.g. “I want to make partner by the time I am …”. This clarity of purpose, often doesn’t extend much beyond work, until often a professionals late 20s and early 30s, when ‘settling down‘ and ‘thinking about having a family‘ starts to feature on the ‘want list‘.
Even before that point, over the course of our lives we play a number of different roles for different people in various situations. Such as, brother, sister, son, friend etc If you are going to make partner and still have a life, then you need to consider, the roles you play inside and outside of work. When life is busy, or all your time and energy is focused on completing a deal or project, it is all too easy to ignore the other important areas of your life.
Whilst making partner will take a significant amount of focus and effort from you, you cannot afford to ignore your other roles and responsibilities if you want to have a meaningful life. It’s much easier to plan for roles in the future if you have given yourself planning time in how you will make it happen. For example, if you know that you will want to start a family and work less hours when the children are young, this is easier to make happen if you work in a firm which has a precedent for this.
Professional services firms are littered with partners who have devoted their lives to their careers only to find as they approach retirement, that they don’t have anything else in their lives. I find that far too many professionals tell me that they don’t think they have anything outside of work-related topics to say on social media. In my view, this is sad because their life has become their work.
Surely, everyone deserves the chance to have a fulfilled life outside of work?