Depending on one’s personality, responsibilities and priorities, work life balance can take on a slightly different meaning for each person. For DV Rao, senior vice president of strategy for CMS Energy and Consumers Energy, work life balance means he’s happy and so are the people around him.
In this edition of Career Corner, we sat down with him to discuss his three step process for achieving work life balance.
- Get a sense of needs and expectations. Before jumping into improving your work life balance, start from ground zero – understanding the needs and expectations of those around you and letting them know of yours as well. For me, work life balance means everyone is happy at work or at home. To get there, you need to 1) communicate openly and honestly with those closest to you to find out where you stand, and 2) understand your life’s purpose, i.e. why and how you belong in your company, community or family.
- Make a plan. Once you get a sense of needs and expectations, plan out how you will deliver. Many times, it’s making something or someone a priority. Be aware of what’s going on in your life, whether it’s a project for work or a school event, and make sure you’re engaged. It’s not always about the amount of time you spend, but the quality of the experience.
- Be flexible. An important lesson I learned from my wife is to be flexible with plans. She taught me that unexpected events happen and sometimes you have to roll with the punches. Certain aspects of your life may demand more attention some weeks more than others. There are weeks I spend more with my family and some I spend more at work. I don’t sweat about it because if your work life balance plan is too rigid then someone’s going to end up disappointed. Ultimately, you have a role in shaping your own happiness and the happiness of others. As long as everyone is happy, I consider my work life balance is achieved.
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At Consumers Energy, we believe we are more than a place to get your energy. We’re a career destination. As a company of more than 7,000 employees and thousands of contractors, we’re creating a culture where one can grow personally and professionally. Our ‘Career Corner’ blog series is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders who will power our state. Have a career development question for one of our leaders? Leave a comment below. It may be featured in a future edition of Career Corner.