To be successful in the Silicon Valley, you need to have a plan, work incredibly hard and get started early. But it’s also important to find an employer, like McGrath/Power, that supports work-life balance.
As a 20-something professional who also happens to be planning a wedding, I recently read a contributed post on A Practical Wedding by GetBullish.com’s Jennifer Dziura about “having it all,” combating the concept of “leaning in” à la Sheryl Sandberg. Among other recommendations offered in the piece, Dziura suggests that 20-somethings should work and plan as hard as possible in that “launch phase” of their lives to prepare for living a different lifestyle in their 30s and beyond – whatever having it all means to them. They should essentially work now to live later.
It’s safe to say that most accomplished people in Silicon Valley can relate to this advice, and we’ve all heard those big success stories. On a more personal level (for what it’s worth), I’ve watched many of my friends and colleagues blossom into incredible professionals in their 20s and 30s because of their hard work, while also having families and even the resources to purchase in the intense Bay Area housing market. Heck, when I pitched this blog topic, CEO Jon Bloom said, “I did that.”
But there’s a more mindful side of me (probably the Montanan side) that wonders – should we have to work 60 hours a week in order to have some semblance of a work-life balance a decade later? And once we reach that age, is it even possible to turn off workaholic mode after establishing it as a habit and setting it as an expectation?
Rather, I’d propose that we attempt to find a sense of balance in our personal and professional lives as early as possible. At McGrath/Power, we’re expected to work hard and put in the extra hours when necessary, but our personal time is respected in return. Employees benefit from Work-at-Home Wednesdays and flex schedules, and a number of my colleagues with children have the option to work remotely. A progressive and understanding employer can help make your launch phase much more enjoyable.
From what I know about Jon Bloom, even while he was working in his 20s launch phase, he still had a great time. He’s doing pretty well for himself.