Stamping Your Priorities
On Your Head
The alarm rings at 6:30 a.m., and Susan Hay is
usually the first one up. After a quick shower, coffee
with her husband and a quick cuddling session with her
four-year-old son Reily, Hay settles down in her at-home
office to put in a full day as an associate candidate
Although she is now comfortable with her daily
routine, it was but nine short months ago that Hay
decided to make the switch from Vice President of Human
Resources at a small insurance company to
self-employment. "After almost three years-and with the
world's cutest four-year-old at home-I decided I wanted
out," recalls Hay. "I called a personal coach and asked
her to help me create a plan where I could be working
from home." After working with Susan McKay, a licensed
coach, Hay learned how to make the transition to home
employment. "Ten weeks later I was gone," Hay
But even today, Hay finds that striking a balance
between work and family is an organic process. "It has
never come easy for me," she confesses, "and I don't
think it ever will...it is a constant battle." Hay also
notes that balance itself is often a moving target and
that it can often mean different things to different
people. "For me, it meant that I needed to get my job out
of my head 24 hours a day," she says. "So executive
search is natural for me-it plays to my strengths and is
personal and intense without being complicated."
While working from home has introduced some new
challenges into Hay's day (a "please stay out, mommy is
working" sign now hangs on her office door), the overall
effect has been a positive one. "I am on the phone and
listening to the children squeal with laughter-and I
incorporate that right into my conversations with people.
After all, I am asking them to share who they are with
me. It helps when I do the same."
Lately, Hay has rediscovered a need for
affiliation, realizing that working, as a consultant
alone will not be enough to help her reach her goals.
With three opportunities currently on her plate, Hay
plans to take the job that she thinks will fit with her
need for balance-as well as one that allows her to work
from her home.
"I don't think there is ever going to be a better
time for talented, hard working people to ask
corporations to help them balance," explains Hay. "I
think that we have the mistaken idea that because things
are so much more open for us that we can have it all.
From my experience, a good idea is to decide what your
priorities are and what balance means to you. Then stamp
it on your forehead."
August 2000 NFC Homepage