Finding balance as a female professional; the influence of personal and professional events

For many professional women, the pandemic has had a massive impact on their their work/life balance as well as  their physical and mental health. Some women who struggled to envision their longer term career prospects before the pandemic found the pressures associated with managing family and professional responsibilities during the pandemic left little time to even contemplate this dilemma. Light is however beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel as lockdowns are lifted, vaccination programmes are well underway, schools and after school facilities have reopened and professional women are beginning to contemplate planning for their professional and personal futures.

There is no one size fits all to solution the challenges women face either during or beyond the pandemic.  Surviving and thriving mean different things for different women and usually is influenced by pivotal professional and personal stages of life. Many women I work with through executive coaching, look to what has worked for other women around them; resilience programmes, mindfulness, time management programmes, leadership programmes all which of course will contribute in some way to enhancing competencies and confidence. However in my experience meeting a client where they are at and identifying key professional and personal events  can help with the design of the future actions to meet the individual’s needs. The following are some of these key events:

  • Becoming a parent and all the new responsibilities (and sometimes sacrifices in other areas of life)  associated with this role 
  • Ageing parents and the caring responsibilities required
  • Career change
  • Assuming a leadership position and navigating the people management challenges
  • Finding children are becoming more independent and need less time, or suddenly faced with an “empty nest”
  • Finding that home life commitments have changed (such as partner now in a position to assume more family responsibilities)

Many of my clients cite balance as the reason for seeking out coaching. I am always fascinated at how balance means different things for different people. For many, balance indicates wanting more time at home, or more flexible working but for many of the women I work with (because of one of the pivotal stages mentioned earlier) balance is something else such as finding they are now freed up (or are ensuring they are freed up) to concentrate on accelerating their career ambitions and they want to tip the scales more in the direction of career. For others the balance is specific to their professional role; this is particularly common with female leaders who find they are spending a lot of their time on the people management aspect of their role at the expense of the other key areas of the role and they want to understand how they can more be more effective in this area to balance the time they give to the others or vice versa; the operational element robs them of time supporting those they lead.

What pivotal professional/personal stage are you at and what do you need now to find balance?

At Insightful Works, we have a number of personalised 1:1 coaching programmes available for female professionals/leaders designed to meet where clients are at in the various pivotal personal/professional stages of life. If you have decided it is your turn to accelerate your career our “My Turn” coaching programme may help you reignite your career ambitions.  Our “Finding balance “coaching programme will help you to decide firstly what balance is to you and you will be supported find what you need to make this happen. For leaders we offer “Leadership Breakthrough” Coaching programme which supports female leaders to make a true breakthrough around their people leadership capabilities.

For more information and details on our complimentary 30 minute sessions around each of these packages visit our executive coaching packages here: