Juggling a career with fatherhood is no easy feat. Thankfully, many ZS dads have discovered that even amid project work and the occasional business trip, the firm’s flexible nature allows them to have plenty of downtime to spend with their children.
In celebration of Father’s Day, ZS’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) – an affinity group founded on respect, support, flexibility and connections – asked ZS dads to show off their most important deliverables, and share how they balance fatherhood with their professional careers.
Here’s what a few ZS dads had to say:
Adam, a manager in San Diego, admits that balancing work with his personal life can be challenging. With the support
of his wife and principal team, Adam continues to experiment and make changes to figure out what works best for him and his family. His advice to fellow dads:
- Don’t struggle in silence. As soon as I opened up about my struggle to achieve balance, I found an outpouring of support from fellow ZSers who wanted to help.
- Distinguish what’s driving your challenges. It’s easy to blame external forces when times get tough, but some work-life balance issues may be self-inflicted. Transforming your mindset is hard, but it enables you to be a more disciplined advocate of healthy boundaries for yourself and your teams.
- Recognize that you have a choice in every decision you make. In the demanding world of client service, we often feel like we “have” to do something. Instead of saying “I have to do some work tonight”, I try to say, “I have some work that I am choosing to do tonight”. It’s a subtle difference but acknowledging when you choose (and choose not) to work helps reinforce that work is voluntary.
Before coming to ZS, Senior Business Technology Analyst Andrew (Chicago) was working at a large consulting firm and managing an intense travel regimen. With the pending birth of his twins, he knew his schedule wasn’t sustainable and wanted to find more balance, which brought him to ZS. With another baby on the way, the balance between work and family continues to play an integral role in Andrew’s ZS life. “It's been challenging to have two babies and a new job, but I appreciate the flexibility at ZS, so I can spend the evenings with my family and help get the kids to bed before picking up work again, if necessary” said Andrew.
When his son was born, Manager Vipin’s (New Delhi) involvement was limited to bottle-feeding and helping his partner with peripheral tasks. One night as his son enthusiastically greeted him after work, Vipin’s mind was flooded with questions: How am I contributing to his development? Will he remember me as a workaholic when he grows up? Do I want to be the person who is never around for the fun times? In that moment, Vipin decided that he would be there for his son and now ensures he has dedicated father-son time each night.
Laurent, an associate consultant in London, knows that parenting is hard work – especially when both parents have full-time jobs. When he joined ZS last year, he was comforted to hear other ZS dads say that family always comes first – a lesson that he and his wife hope to instill in their children as well. “I block my time on my calendar for pick-ups, drop-offs and family dinners,” said Laurent. “I prioritize my time with my family, even if that means working in the evening once they are in bed.”
Two years ago, Executive Director Sandeep (Princeton) decided to revamp his schedule and start his days a few hours earlier so he could have more time in the evening for his family. That small change has reaped large rewards and his family has found time to invest in new hobbies together, such as gardening and cooking.
Dads, are you looking for a new career opportunity? Check out ZS.