Q: How do you advance in your career while maintaining home/work balance?

Credit Union Young Leader:
Lisa Castle
Manager of Retail Administrative Services

Credit Union:
Synergy Credit Union

A: This is a question that troubles so many of us, how will we balance it all…the kids, the spouse, the extended family, the community involvement and the career.

Ensuring that the balance is authentic to your values makes what happens next in life and your career fit. The guiding principles for myself have always circled around:

  1. Loving what I do
  2. Being able to give it my 100% commitment

What I have found is that there are a couple of easy tools – really easy tools that help achieve those guiding principles. For me, these are honesty and communication! The very first thing you need to be is honest. Honest with yourself, your spouse, your community connections and your organization about what you can and cannot do. Decide where your priorities lie and why. If your actions are disconnected from your priorities it will lead to extensive stress at home and at work.

You need to have open and transparent communication with all of your connections to make sure you understand the expectations, the flexibility and the timelines before you say yes. Clearly understanding the expectations of your role or potential role are a number one priority.

I have found that being honest and open, although at times difficult, creates a very trusting and rewarding experience. I also encourage this approach with all team mates – listen to their needs, be flexible and adaptable. This takes unneeded pressure off of everyone.

I have said many times, I only get to be a parent to my little people at home for 18 years, I get a lifetime for a career. I have known that setting my priorities in this order could mean that I may not be in the right place for a career opportunity. On the flip side of that, I have had many opportunities that maybe I would not have come my way without communicating openly with my credit union.

You have to make the right choices for yourself, your family and your organization. Our families and our work teams deserve to be integrated completely into our life.