No Kids? No Balance?

“The kid has been easier and the job has been fun,” says Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer when asked about juggling demands of a new job and new baby.

But others aren’t so sure.

Fact is, even those without kids, often struggle to find balance.

Fifty percent of employees perceive Life/Work flexibility as a “perk” or “don’t know what it is.”

Angie Strunk, working mom and VP at HR management firm Sheakley, says fairness between employees with kids and without is an issue.

Asking for fewer hours at the office is tough whether or not you have children, especially if you worry about how your colleagues will perceive you.

She dealt with it personally, balancing work with kids. “I had to make sure my work was done timely and efficiently. I didn’t expect others to change for me.”

But, often employees without children resent those who ask for flex-time for parent-teacher conferences or sports games, or who expect those without kids to pick up the slack.

She says flexibility isn’t just for mom.

“If you don’t have kids, don’t hesitate to ask for more flexibility.” Prioritizing commitments outside work, is just as important for childless employees.

Strunk once had an employee who was a dog breeder and needed time off when the puppies were born. Others need time to care for aging parents or participation in the community.

“People without kids shouldn’t feel like they can’t take personal time off because their issue isn’t child-related,” she adds.

And, whether you have children or not, let the merit of your job performance speak for itself, says Strunk, both as a mother and a HR professional.

Bonus PINK Link: Struggling with flexibility and running on empty.

Have you received different treatment at work, either because you have kids or because you don’t?

By Sarah Grace Alexander

“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” Hillary Clinton

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