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The pendulum of work-life balance

  • Posted on March 11, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Rachel Edwards on her bike

In this day and age, women are often expected to do it all: climb the corporate ladder, raise well-behaved and well-rounded children, keep an immaculate home, hit the gym and much more, all without breaking a sweat. I’d like to think I’ve maintained this balancing act somewhat well, although not perfectly, and certainly not all at once! I’m a mom of two, an executive here at Avanade, a world champion 24-hour mountain biker and so much more. How do I make it all work? I credit finding flexibility in each of my roles and having great people on my team (at work and at home) that are supportive and understanding.

 

One of my favorite things about working at Avanade over the past six years is that I have always been encouraged to find the balance between work and life that best fits me. My philosophy on work-life balance has always been as follows: It’s never going to be a perfect 50/50 split. Sometimes you need to focus more on life and sometimes more on work depending on your goals and responsibilities.

 

Avanade has provided me the time to focus on my personal pursuits, and in turn, I give more to Avanade when I am able to focus more on work. I took a year off when I had my daughter to focus on my family, as that was the most important thing for me at that time. I also took time for a personal goal and traveled to Italy to compete in the World 24-hour Mountain Biking Competition to realize a personal goal of becoming a world champion. There’s a lot of overlap in consulting and ultra-distance biking; both require resilience, adaptability and flexibility. Avanade’s culture allowed me the freedom to pursue my biking goals, and in turn, biking has made me better at my job.

 

 

For anyone looking for advice on juggling the personal and the professional, I ask you to really consider where you’d like to focus your priorities and work toward finding a role that fits those goals. For me, it’s all about right-sizing: finding the right spot in the right organization at the right time in your life. I didn’t become a mom, a champion biker and an executive at Avanade all in one day, and that’s OK! Work-life balance will never be about doing it all and doing it perfectly; it’s about finding the best balance for you and doing things that make you feel the most like a whole person.


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