Name: Jayne Ford
Location: Denver, CO
Professional Industry: Leadership Consulting
Company: ghSMART & Company
Job Title: Recruiting Director
WIXII-ISM™ FROM JAYNE: “When thinking about your next career, think broadly about what you love to do both professionally and personally. Then think about the careers where those characteristics would make you an A-player. Use your network to find someone in those careers and ask about her career path. Think broadly – too many of us think within a narrow band of what we were trained to do. Ask women that you respect about their job, their flexibility, their dreams. You can learn so much from your network, but you must be willing to put yourself out there and ask.”
Meet our Wixii™ of the week, Jayne Ford. She is her early 40s and mother to Will, 12 and Elle, 9. Jayne received her MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA from Texas Christian University. She currently is the Recruiting Director for ghSMART & Company where she sources, interviews, and hires amazing consultants for the firm.
Jayne devotes 45-50 hours per week (on average) to her career and would rate her work-life satisfaction level as a 9 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest). She describes the policies of her workplace as quite work-life friendly, especially for a corporate setting. In the division of labor for household responsibilities, she spends the majority of her time caregiving (60%) which includes cooking and focusing on homework. Less than 20% of her time is spent on cleaning, laundry, shopping, and children’s extracurricular activities.
To maintain her own well-being, on a daily basis, she exercises, eats well and connects with loved ones. On a weekly basis, she aims to catch-up on sleep, connect with friends and pray/meditate. She makes time monthly to sneak-in pampering; and she tries to travel on an annual basis. She volunteers for the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, Colorado Ballet and her children’s school.
My current work-life mix is possible (manageable) because of…
Because I have always been able to manage my children and house on my own, when I first started back full-time, I was reluctant to spend the money to hire help. However, I realized paying for good help alleviates the stress of being a single, working mom. Being up until 1am doing our laundry was not good for me or my children. My part-time nanny is the one that makes daily life go smoothly for all of us. As my daughter said, “I’m not sure we could survive without Brooke!” In reality, without her amazing help, I’m not sure we would have groceries so I could cook, be able to participate in so many wonderful activities for the children or let me relax as much with them on the weekends. In addition to taking care of the children after school, my nanny is responsible for running errands, shopping for grocery, picking up the dry cleaning, and anything else that will help me focus on the children after work. Additionally, my ex-husband and I have an amazing friendship and co-parent together with a respect and appreciation for what each of us brings to the children. We work hard to accommodate each other’s travel schedules and find one-on-one time with the children. The cooperation really benefits our children.
In what ways did your work-life mix change after having children?
When my first child was born, I took a step back to a part-time position cutting back my travel. When my second child was born, I felt that I was not doing a great job at being a mother or an employee. We had worked hard to save some money, so I was able to take several years off to be with my children. Now as a single mother, and back to work full time, I have become less of a perfectionist. The house may not look just perfect, the children’s clothes may not be just what I want them to wear each day, and I may not have time to cook a wonderful dinner for them each night – but we make it all work.
Growing-up, what was your vision of work and life?
I was always very optimistic that I would be able to “do it all” if I tried hard enough. I now think I can still “have it all,” but I have had to take the pressure off myself to do it all perfectly (and by myself). I’m doing it much better the second time around.
What has surprised you most about juggling work and family?
My children’s reaction to me going back to work full-time has been amazing! They are so proud of me, love to ask me questions about what I am doing, and find it very funny when all three of us are “doing homework (work)” together. Children are so resilient and self-sufficient. I definitely enjoy taking care of my children, but I am so proud of how self-sufficient and independent they are becoming.
Describe a current “day in your life” from waketime to bedtime:
6:00am: Rise and get ready for work before children wake, fix breakfasts, and pack myself a lunch
7:45am: Drop off kids at school and head to the office
Lunch hour (varies): Exercise and eat lunch at my desk
5:00pm-ish: Leave the office to get home to fix dinner, check homework
8:30pm: Kids to bed and then sit down to check emails and organize for next day
On a daily basis, I am energized/motivated/inspired by:
I am inspired by my children – every morning is the start to a new, bright day for them. They enter each day with enthusiasm and a wonderful attitude. I am energized by my work – I love the new interesting people that I meet daily with my job. Everyone has a fascinating background, and I enjoy the chance to learn about each one. I am motivated by desire to help others – be it my children that I want to see happy, a charity that I want to help move forward or a person that I want to help find a wonderful job (be it with my company or helping them think through other options).
On a daily basis, I am drained/frustrated by:
My lack of sleep. I do not feel like I ever get enough during the week.
What do you wish you could change about your current work-life mix?
I wish that I could tune out work more on the weekends. Not that pressing things come up that often, but it is difficult to ignore everything when your email is piling up around you.
What does “having it all” mean to you?
Enjoying every day and projecting that joy to those around me. Never losing sight of the most important things to me: my Savior, my family, my friends. There is also a component of taking care of myself, both physically and emotionally, through exercise, reading, or getting a massage. Taking time for myself to quiet my mind makes me more peaceful with those that I love.
Do you think that you “have it all”?
Yes, I think the mix is great right now. Much of that has to do with my amazing support network.
Share your key(s) to maintaining order (“managing it all”):
I rely on lists! I keep a personal (non-work) to-do list on my computer that I print out weekly. It stays on my desk so when I think of something, I write it on the list and then can let it go until I have time to deal with it. Some things stay on the list for months, others are more urgent. Each Sunday night, I re-print the list adding things that I wrote down during the week, deleting the things I finished, and delegating some of the things to my nanny. I also keep a small spiral notebook with me at all times where I write down the random one-off things we need as a family. In that I write down things like “new mascara, a book name I want to read, new cleats for my son” etc. It is amazing how many of those random things you can find during one trip to Super Target!
What advice would you give a pre-child version of yourself?
When thinking about your next career, think broadly about what you love to do both professionally and personally. Then think about the careers where those characteristics would make you an A-player. Use your network to find someone in those careers and ask about her career path. Think broadly – too many of us think within a narrow band of what we were trained to do. Ask women that you respect about their job, their flexibility, their dreams. You can learn so much from your network, but you must be willing to put yourself out there and ask. And when someone asks for your help or advice down the line – make the time to help her.