Balancing children and a career is a challenge for many women. Be it due to a lack of supervision, a lack of support in the company or other framework conditions. Annika Milz, head of institutional business at the fund company Fidelity International, knows how it can still work.

Having children and still being professionally successful : The compatibility of family and career is still a very difficult topic. Many people experience for themselves how difficult it can be for these two areas to coexist. Luckily, there are more and more women showing that you can definitely have both. Companies are also increasingly advertising with it and are working to create the right framework conditions.

In this guest article, Annika Milz, head of institutional business at the fund company Fidelity International and mother of two children, examines the topic and shows how the balancing act between job and family works.

1. What works – and what doesn’t work?

Life as a manager with children is exhausting. Many things happen at the same time – a lot comes out of the blue – at work and privately. When my next career step was due after the birth of my children, like many women I asked myself: What workload can I handle? How much time do I want to spend with my children? What happens when the children are sick or on vacation? The new position really appealed to me. But I also very consciously asked myself the question of my stress limits.

So before you talk to your employer, you should honestly ask yourself under what conditions a return to work is realistic and know exactly what your own wishes and ideas are. Honesty is the key here. If you agree on things with your employer that you often cannot keep to in reality, it will not do you or your employer any good.

Be brave and make active suggestions for the compatibility of family and work. Address modern working models such as home office or flexible working hours if that is what you want. One thing is certain: if you want to reconcile job and family, you need a concrete plan.

2. Organization of purely work days or purely family days

Doing everything a little often means doing nothing right. It is therefore important to me that I can fully concentrate on my job on my working days. Then my husband or the grandparents are responsible for the children from getting up to helping with their homework and putting them to bed.

On the other days it’s my family and I’s turn. Even if our solution works well, Corona has admittedly presented us with a challenge. The only thing that helps here is the realization that sometimes you have to let five be straight.

3. Build networks and look for mentors

In the male-dominated world of finance, I never wanted to assume the role of a “better man”. However, I have always analyzed what makes people successful. Networking, being seen, speaking out about what you do and what you stand for may not come naturally to many women as much as it does to men, but it is extremely important. The higher you climb the career ladder, the more important good networks are. You should also look for suitable mentors who can support you in your career and personal development.

Ideally, a mentor should not come from the direct work environment to avoid conflicts of interest. However, he or she should have already mastered a similar situation and be able to assess the challenges well. In addition to the question “with whom” the “how” also plays an important role. How can I get noticed better? How do I gain presence and gravitas in important conferences?

4. Be focused

The world of finance is extremely exciting for me. Around the clock and around the world, stock exchanges reflect business and economic trends. The fact that the financial markets never sleep also shows that you can’t follow every development and that you don’t have to set priorities. In my position, you should basically stay on the ball when it comes to economic events, but you have to e.g. B. not knowing every detail about a single stock.

In today’s information society, it is a Herculean task to distinguish the important from the unimportant. Another art is to concentrate your working time on really relevant tasks and to throw unimportant things overboard. Phases in which you can escape the operative hustle and bustle of “daily business” and reassess tasks from a distance are therefore helpful.

5. Delegate tasks and accept help

A training session showed that I could delegate more tasks, but often do them “quickly” myself. Partly out of consideration for colleagues who also have a lot to do, and partly because I shied away from the effort involved in delegating However, experience also shows that delegating is usually an opportunity – to give others an opportunity to prove themselves or to fundamentally rethink tasks.Many

people are reluctant to accept help because this is also seen as a form of weakness “I’ve also learned not to always try to do everything perfectly. Sometimes the laundry is left behind for a day or sometimes there’s pizza for lunch. In the long run, everyone is more relaxed and happier.

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