Work/Life balance. Described more descriptively – an appreciation for employee’s family and ensuring family is truly valued and that it isn’t just part of a fancy marketing campaign to attract top talent. As companies compete in the ‘war for talent’, it’s a big differentiator between a good job to have and a great company to work for. As women we are conditioned to believe that once we become mothers our career options are more limited and narrow. I have always found this ironic, as the skills I’ve used to be a mom have made me a far better project manager than I would have been otherwise. My acumen around time management, organization, influencing difficult stakeholders, and being efficient was improved exponentially by taking on the very role that made me feel somehow less employable.
For many years I struggled to find a role that worked for both me and my family in a corporate world where lip service was paid to the benefits of having a strong balance between our work and personal lives, but little is done to encourage it. After one too many missed bedtime stories during a period in my life where I felt I wasn’t succeeding at being a particularly successful parent or employee, I found SEI.
At first it seemed too good to be true: a place I could work on engaging projects for clients AND have the variety and benefits of consulting without being on the road, working crazy hours, and missing time away from my family. Is that possible?
And yet the more I got to know SEI during the interview process, I learned it was even better. For the first time I felt as if I found a group of kindred spirits – men and women who could be out climbing brass rings at other firms, but had realized there was more to life and wanted to be well-rounded employees and people.
SEI is a company with a locally focused model and an appreciation for vibrant family life. For consultants, it’s nice to be local and able to go home to the people you love every night. It makes this career viable for many people – especially working mothers (which is in itself a redundant term!) – who would never otherwise consider it an option. This all leads to lower turnover, longer tenured employees, and deeper relationships and camaraderie, with the end result being an environment conducive to productive, long-term, happy employees.
It’s been almost four years since I started exploring a career as an SEI consultant. In that time I’ve been happier with my balance at home and professionally than I have at any other point in my life. And – most days – I feel like I am successful at both.
The added bonus in joining SEI is that I gained an extended family I didn’t anticipate. As our company grows, so do SEI’s family friendly events like the annual summer party. Our model has made it possible for me to get to know not just my fellow consultants, but their families and friends as well, and I’m grateful every day for that.