Parents: This Is Your Work Life Balance Solution - For Real.
So here's some depressing news: according to a recent Pew Study that looked at the lives of professional dual career families, the quest to find a more satisfying work life balance has actually gotten worse and not better.
Dads want a better worklife balance also.
So whereas before this struggle to balance a family with a career was seen as just a "working moms issue" now a growing number of Dads also want more opportunities for a genuine engagement and time with their children.
The struggle has been amplified and no one is winning.
The insights from Pew were depressing since they were so relatable and overwhelming. For instance, Moms and Dads reported that they continually and constantly feel incredibly pressed for time. Forty percent of Moms said that they are "...always feeling rushed."
Similarly, half of all Dads say they regularly feel like they don't get enough time with their kids.
It Can Be Better:
But life doesn't have to be like that - it can actually be so much better.
The solution is with the growing professional gig economy.
A recent study estimates that by 2020 over 40% of the workforce will be contract, freelance, or self-employed.
It's can seem like a scary shift.
For professional and knowledge workers, the growing gig economy offers an increasing range of opportunities to combine career advancement with more flexibility and autonomy.
This means how and when you work can be adjusted to the ever-shifting needs of your children and families - but without sacrificing career advancement, engagement or remuneration.
As SMB's increasingly shift to contract employment models for individuals the opportunities to create a more personally optimal way of working increases.
The Harvard Business Review credits this shift with the "rise of the supertemp." Supertemps are top managers and professionals who've been trained at top schools and worked at elite companies, and who are choosing to pursue project-based careers.
Employers increasingly trust "supertemps" with their mission critical work and large-scale projects - the kind that previously would be done by permanent employees or full agencies.
This change means that professional parents looking for more control over how and when they work now have a growing set of options and the ability to build successful careers on their terms.
Track Your Current Schedule: To figure out what your optimal family and work schedule would be, start by paying attention to the what could work better - what kinds of controls would help your family function in a way that makes you happier?
Expand How You Think About Your CV: With contract and consulting gigs, it is to your advantage to think more broadly about the variety of projects, industries, and sectors that your experience and skills could add value to. "One of the reasons we designed our onboarding process with this level of intelligence and depth is to prompt our members to really understand both what they were looking for and what they could provide." says Michael Carter, CEO and co-founder of Kahuso.
Engage Your Partner In This Discussion: Career and family decisions don't happen in isolation - a choice in one area has a direct impact on the other so if you have a co-parent or partner, get them involved in the discussion from the start.
There's a better way to structure our career and family lives - and it starts with shifting how we think a successful career should look or happen.