A Working Mom’s Advice for Life Balance

Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, discusses balancing work and family.
November 26, 2016

What was the inspiration for starting your own business?

I was pregnant with my first child, and I knew that as I started my family, I needed a flexible work situation. I explored jobs that would allow me to stay in my career path and telecommute heavily. I was quickly astounded by the overwhelming number of scams and junk “work-from-home” listings that buried the legitimate ones. I saw the need for a company that could cut out the clutter and help people find legitimate, professional-level flexible jobs.

Sara Sutton Fell
COURTESY OF FLEXJOBS

Related: The Truth About Working From Home

How have you been able to balance the demands of being CEO with being a highly involved mother?

Founding a job-search service that champions flexible work means I created FlexJobs with the same sort of flexibility for our own staff, right from day one. We all work remotely from our own home offices, which for me as a CEO and a mom is incredibly helpful. My morning routine is focused on getting my now 8- and 10-year-old boys off to school in a relaxed way. I can do this because I don’t have the stress of getting myself ready to leave for a brutal morning commute.

What advice do you have for working parents?

My biggest single piece of advice is, of course, to consider flexible work. That might mean approaching your employer to request the ability to work from home one day a week or have more control over your work hours. If you’re stuck, it might be time to look for a job with a company that supports flexibility.

If you’re concerned that using flexible work options will hurt your career trajectory, proactively communicate to ensure you’re still in the game. Make sure you’re regularly updating your colleagues and manager on your accomplishments and progress, staying visible, and regularly discussing your future with the team.

Related: Career & Motherhood: 10 Ways to Make It Work

 

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.

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