Spending time with family can never be a luxury but a necessity. This statement – “your family is more important than your job” – is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned over the last two years through the pandemic. So important, in fact, it has been one of the more frequent statements that I have shared with others in conversations about job decisions, especially when they have come to me struggling over what the best decision is for their family.
At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.Barbara Bush
One of the most important lessons I learned during my Jesuit days is that I am not irreplaceable. No one is! I figured out that, other than in my own mind, none of my accomplishments came with me. Don’t get me wrong here – the experience came with me, which was very valuable in helping me to do the job well. Especially when you move into a new role people don’t know and don’t care what I had done someplace else. And all of a sudden, the only thing I had left to support and encourage me was my family. I realized that I had actually been pouring my energies into accomplishment at work at the expense of my family. I also realized that at any time I could lose or leave that job, but if that happened and I lost everything that came with my work (including recognition and accomplishment), I would still have my family. Like switching on a light, I suddenly understood that my family was more important than my job. Life moves on, jobs and careers change, and although I may have some influence and leave behind an impact, just about the only thing that goes with me moving forward is my family. So if my job is costing me my family, the job needs to go before my family does.
This is one of the most important lessons you could learn. It is a “meaning and contentment of life” type of statement. No one is irreplaceable. When you leave an organization or a job, remember that they will move on without you, but your family will be the one thing goes with you. Never forget that your family is more important than your job.
Ultimately, deciding where you spend your time and how you prioritize your career and your family comes down to a choice you make. However, there are not many things in life that are purely black and white. Instead, it takes balance and precision to manage your time in a way that you can succeed in your job and also care adequately for your family.
Everyone’s situation is different, so once you decide what is right for you, dedicate yourself entirely to that decision and make it happen (guilt-free, of course)!