Q: I'd love to be a creative director some day. But I'd also like to be a mother and everything I hear about the need for 100% job focus at the top makes me fearful I would truthfully have to make a choice. Can a mom in the group please tell me how you do it?
Let me start by saying, if you want kids, have them.
This is a life decision that I personally wouldn’t let my career get in the way of.
Managing a creative director’s life and a home life is really hard. But it’s hard for anyone who wants to be exceptional at her job and still have a family.
It’s true, to be a half decent creative director, you have to be 100% dedicated.
But also to be a good mother, you have to be 100% dedicated.
And to be a good spouse, you have to be 100% dedicated. (People often forget about this one, but it’s really, really important to your happiness.)
So how do I give 300% and balance the three?
I’ll tell you how I manage and manage to have a pretty happy life. And for me that’s the ultimate goal.
First, I realized there is no such thing as balance. One is always out weighing the other. I’m constantly deciding which way I’m going to tilt the balance.
Secondly, whatever I’m doing, I give it my full attention. So when I’m at work, I work. And I work my ass my off and I’m totally focused.
When I’m at home, I’m at home. I’ll keep my cell on or check my e-mail if I have some unfinished work or a deadline looming, but otherwise I try to keep away from work. I’m unapologetic about the importance of having a life outside of work. I think it makes me better at what I do.
Most importantly, I have great support. I work for an enlightened company. I work with really talented people I trust. And I have a great spouse: someone who understands when I have to work late or travel and is willing to help out.
Being a great CD, a great mother and a great spouse are not mutually exclusive.
You can do whatever you want. You just have to work at it. Good luck.