Today’s interview is with ML – a mom, business analyst, world traveler, and jewelry aficionado. I receive quite a few requests for more interviews with mothers (both working and stay at home), and I’m very happy to introduce ML today. ML juggles multiple roles both inside and outside the home, and has an awe inspiring work ethic and an infectious energy. Whether she’s sharing her perspective on motherhood, jewelry, or her favorite eats in Hong Kong, it’s clear that ML is passionate about enjoying and making the most of what she is passionate about in life . Enjoy meeting ML!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
Hi, I’m ML. I am a business analyst with a large IT firm in the SF Bay Area.
You’ve been working with the same technology firm for 16 years, which is a rarity here in the Bay Area. Can you share how you’ve stayed at the same place for so long?
16 years is indeed a very long time to be in the same firm! I typically work on a new project every 2-3 months, often juggling several projects at the same time so I am constantly learning new things! The fundamentals of the job don’t change, but the content varies and that keeps things interesting. Working with different partners helps keeps things challenging as well. You are constantly adapting to different people, project needs, goals and deadlines. I LOVE what I do and this in itself is the main reason why I am still here. What keeps me going as well is that I have very supportive management which recognizes my work.
How did you handle managing your work once you began having children?
I took five months off with each of my births and then went back to work full time. I jumped right back into challenging projects which was good and bad. Good because I wanted to get back and make sure that I still had “what it takes”. It was bad, because I had to learn to strike a balance between work and the demands of motherhood. As an example….for a working mom who is still breastfeeding, you have to make time to pump, or else you will lose your milk supply. With my first, I didn’t know better and let work take priority. The second time around though, I made time and blocked off time on my calendar to pump. It helped to have a very understanding manager. The first thing I did when I got back to work was to let her know about these little blocks of time that I needed during the work day. I also worked from home.
Working from home sounds like a dream for many. Can you share more details about your set up?
To work from home, you need to have a proper work space set-up. You need to be disciplined enough to get your work done instead of being distracted by chores that need to be done around the house. Working from home has its perils too. The laptop is always on. Unless you have lots of extra rooms in your house, chances are that your work area not be in a dedicated room. This means that whenever you walk by your work area, you will be tempted to just check your work emails! Once you get started, you are stuck there for at least 30 minutes and before you know it, a couple of hours have flown by! It is easy to work around the clock so you need to know when to say stop, enough is enough or take comp time off when your work schedule permits. Continue Reading