Balancing a Thriving Career with Family: Tips & Strategies from Successful Women

By Jenell McLaughlin

by Celia Cooksey

In today’s fast-paced world, women have shattered the glass ceiling in multiple industries, proving we can excel in any field we choose. The number of women in C-suite roles has increased from 17 percent to 28 percent in the past seven years, and the representation of women at the vice president and senior vice president levels has also increased significantly, according to the annual McKinsey report on Women in the Workplace.

Harvard Business research shows that adding women to the C-suite changes how companies think, as women in executive roles affect how executive leadership approaches strategy and innovation. Simply put, women in executive leadership are good for business, making it “more profitable, more socially responsible, [with] safer, higher-quality customer experiences …” than when boards are less diverse.

While we are seeing an upward trajectory of women at the director level, the group next in line for senior leadership positions, women are also leaving their positions at a higher rate than men at the same level. As a result, fewer women are in line for top positions.

The pursuit of a successful career is not the only aspect of life that women prioritize. Many successful women also place a significant emphasis on their families, which could be one of the reasons women find it difficult to stay in top positions. Balancing a thriving career with family life is undoubtedly a challenge, but it is one that countless accomplished women have mastered. As a single mom, I recognize the importance of my personal success on the growth and successes of my children, as they are able to observe and imitate my own habits in the pursuit of their education, activities and friendships.

Here are some tips and tricks I have learned through research and observation of other highly successful women:

Successful people understand the importance of setting clear priorities. They recognize that while their careers are essential, their families are equally significant. Making conscious decisions about how you allocate your time and energy and identifying what matters most to you at any given moment will allow you to make choices accordingly. By establishing priorities, you can strike a balance between work and family obligations and feel strong and successful in both.

Another crucial skill to make it easier to hold a career and balance family dynamics is time management. Successful women plan their days meticulously, allocating time for work, family, personal development, and self-care. Tools like calendars, to-do lists, and time-tracking apps can be invaluable in helping to stay organized and ensure that you make the most of your time. Effective time management is key in making sure professional responsibilities are fulfilled without sacrificing family time.

Finally, one of the biggest secrets to balancing a career and family is recognizing that you can’t do it all on your own. Successful women are not afraid to communicate effectively, delegate tasks and seek support from their partners, extended family, trusted child care providers, or even their children. Delegating responsibilities at home and work allows them to focus on their most critical tasks, spend quality time with their families, while teaching invaluable lessons in fortitude and discipline.

Life is full of unexpected challenges and changes. Recognizing the importance of prioritization, time management, and effective communication will enable you the time and energy to take care of yourself and help you to be flexible and agile in managing family life with a thriving career. While balancing a successful career with family life is challenging, it is also an attainable goal for many women. The ability to navigate this balance serves as an inspiration for others, showcasing that women can excel in multiple domains without compromising on what matters most to them.

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