Julia Sims: The flexibility factor
Posted January 14, 2013
Some four years after leaving WRAL after our son was born, the opportunity to return to journalism presented itself.
It was what I really wanted to do. I missed the news business and I missed my “family” at WRAL. (And, seriously: How often do you get a chance to return to a job you love after leaving?).
Still, my husband and I wondered if we could make the crazy schedule that comes with news work for our family. Mike and I believe dinner time is important family time. We also both want the opportunity to be involved with school activities. So, we just weren’t sure a reporter schedule would fit with our priorities.
That's where flexibility comes in. Fortunately, WRAL's parent company, Capitol Broadcasting, believes in the value of work-life balance. As a result, I am working a four-day work week.
That means I can count on being home for dinner at least three nights a week and it allows me one day during the week to do things with Will, my son. Last month, I was a volunteer at his daycare. I was able to see how he interacts with his teachers and his classmates. He got a kick out of it too! He talked about it all week long. It was a good experience for both of us.
More companies are moving to flexible work schedules, but there are plenty more that should jump on board, in my opinion. Think about it: The company ends up with a much happier employee and, as a result, someone who is likely much more productive.
They also benefit from having a much more well-rounded employee. Someone who doesn't just eat, sleep and drink work. Someone who brings different perspectives to the table simply by having the time to experience other things. And what about the companies that don't offer flexible work schedules? It seems to me they miss out on a lot of talent.
So, I count myself as one of the lucky ones: Someone who can make her family a priority and still contribute to the work force and enjoy a career that I feel passionate about. I think it’s a good example to set for my son. I'm fortunate Capitol Broadcasting “gets it.”
Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.