I spend quite a bit of time on the road where I have been blessed with meeting so many wonderful people. Usually, I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone and typically, the conversation turns to, what do you do for a living? Followed by, do you have children? I answer my normal response, that I am an Energy Consultant and that I have a son. Typically, I get one of two responses from the other person: Oh! How does that work exactly? Or, don’t you feel like you are missing out on something? At first, I wasn’t really sure how to respond. It wasn’t because I was offended by the response but more because I was new at consulting and being on the road away from my family was a transition for me. But, overtime I got better at handling the situation.
I have been consulting for almost five years and I don’t regret the choices made. While my career does take me away from my home and family, here is how we make it work for us:
• We touch base with each other every morning before school and in the evening before bedtime.
• I make it a point to make it home every Thursday by dinner time. Incorporated into that is a bit of tradition, with pizza on the menu for that day. It sets the tone each week for us to reconnect.
• We prepare extra meals over the weekend so dinners are easy during the week. They just require reheating, which makes it much easier for my husband.
• I don’t travel on Sundays and I try not to work a full day on Friday. I am away from home Monday through late afternoon Thursday. If projects allow, I try to get most of my work done during those days when I am away.
• I choose to work for a Consulting Firm that values my family time. I get very little email traffic after hours or on the weekends. They understand their consultants need to create a good work-life balance, which allows me to recharge over the weekend and always be at my best when at the client site.
The main reason I can do what I do is because I have a strong support network that not only involves my family but extends to my work family as well. Without their support, I would definitely be missing out on a lot!
Carrie Skuban has over 15 years of experience and is a Senior Manager with MidDel Consulting, a System Integrator and Professional Services firm specializing in services supporting the business systems for Front, Back and Mid-Office. MidDel has been in business for over 16 years and our consultants, on average, bring over 25 years of senior level energy industry knowledge to our projects. We have deep relationships with our clients, often working with them for more than a decade.
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