Life is better when you bring excitement to what you do and if you're passionate about everything you do, you do those things with a positive attitude, a sense of purpose, and with a level pride. When I first got into the information technology field in the late 90s, I found that an old saying I once heard suddenly was applicable to me: “if you do a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life." I had taken a passionate hobby of mine, information technology, and turned it into a very satisfying career that paid me very well. Having said that, it wasn’t my only passion and I knew that I had to find a work-life balance that allowed me to follow these passions.
Finding Work-Life Balance to Give Back
I have always strived to be more than the sum of what I am and to try to give back more than I’ve taken. I didn't always have this mindset and it doesn’t work with every attempt, but whenever I can, I do. Having a career in information technology doesn’t always allow for a lot of free time to dedicate elsewhere. There is unplanned, long hours and outages, or blown deadlines, which leaves me with very little free time to recharge, let alone take on other pursuits.
Luckily, my current role at Turbonomic as a Senior Technical Trainer allows for enough flexibility and scheduling to permit me to maintain many of my “outside of work” passions, which was critically important to me when I accepted the position. I can work anywhere, but I can only do what I do for my community if I have the free time to do it. There's only so many jobs that will grant you that type of flexibility. Because most of my travel to customers is planned in advance, I can take those work assignments away from home and on the road and still have time for week night meetings where I serve as a Town Councilor for my hometown of Wallingford.
During some of the extended downtime of that same travel (layovers from flights and such) and the wonders of modern technology, I am also able to respond to emails and remote into calls and meetings for the Wallingford Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club where I serve as a member of their Executive Board. Between all of this and in other pockets of time, I am able to also fundraise for Wallingford’s Project Graduation committee which has been providing Wallingford's Senior high school graduates a fun, safe, and substance free celebration, with no financial obligation, since 1990. It's something special to have the time to follow my passions in each of these activities outside of Turbonomic, but that is only possible because of the balance I've found here. Balance means something different to every person, but for me, I've found this to work really well.
The Reward of Volunteer Work
All of this additional volunteer work does take away from some of the time that I might otherwise spend with my four kids, ages nine to fourteen, but when they're asked in school who their favorite superhero is and they say, “my Dad” - that is something you simply cannot put a price on. 'Adulting' and parenting is hard, but it gives you a sense of purpose, just like volunteering does, and responses like that from your own kids allow you to confirm that you’re making a difference. Having an employer that gives me the flexibility as a parent and volunteer makes all of this possible and I'm happy to be a superhero for my kids!
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