This is the first of a series of seven blog posts featuring advice on our Seven Strategies for Flex Success®. To learn more, register today for our 2019 Flex Success® Institute, a five-part, virtual professional development program for mid-level professionals working a holistic flex or reduced hours schedule. Program begins April 2, 2019.
The first step to ensuring that you will be successful while working a flexible schedule is to define what success means to you.
Once you’ve decided that a flexible schedule is right for you, you need to be able to envision your future plans. As you define your successful, flexible career path you should clearly map out your one, three, and five-year vision. That vision should include what you want personally and professionally and how the two can mesh to define success on your own terms.
Once you are clear on your own goals you can begin to envision your long and short-term plans for your career, your lifestyle, and your family. You’ll also need to think through potential opportunities and obstacles and clearly map out financial and professional development needs. Do you want to be home with your children for an extended leave? Can you afford to work part-time? Do you want to take a sabbatical? Do you have childcare options? Your flexible work plan can then be mapped out to support your aspirations. You’ll be much better able to negotiate the needs of your employer once you have a clear sense of your personal needs.
Over the years we’ve asked countless professionals working flexible schedules about their initial planning stages. Here are some of their words of wisdom…
“You have to think strategically from the beginning of your career; what type of career do you want and what will allow you to balance your career with your competing priorities the most effectively.”
“Flex was something I started to think about before I even started working in Big Law…it was important to me to sit down and have dinner with my husband most nights.”
“You need clear objectives – what’s truly important to you and do whatever it takes to protect it.”
Ultimately the more planning ahead you can do, the more smoothly your career can balance with your personal life and goals. Once you’ve defined your success and can picture where you want to be in the short term and in five years, you’ll be well on your way to Flex Success®!