Blog >
Scaling Back and Scarry Influences

Blog

Scaling Back and Scarry Influences

Jacob Lehman takes a moment to share one of his greatest influences and reflect on how he maintains his values and achieves a work-life balance. 

In my work with both corporate clients and job-searchers, I try to keep in mind that a major decision is only correct for the client if it is congruent with their values. Considering financial feasibility is important, but if profit or earnings always determine the outcome, any other stated values are just marketing copy. In that vein, I have just made one of the scariest (and best) decisions of my professional life.

My wife recently returned to the workforce after having parented our daughter full-time since her birth in 2020. Our daughter is presently enrolled in half-time daycare; this leaves me a limited number of hours overlapping an ordinary workday available for paid work, and rather than trying to squeeze a full-time role into the margins, we’ve decided that I will limit myself to part-time consulting and career coaching, dedicating the rest of each day to parenting.

When I was a child, Richard Scarry’s The Bunny Book was one of my favorites. In it, while everyone around him has professional aspirations for a baby bunny, his goal is to be a great dad. I am generally risk-averse and not overly prone to self-marketing, so trading a consistent 6-figure salary (with benefits and a growth trajectory) for project-based, hourly work is hard. There’s a meaningful risk that we have to draw down savings if I’m not able to fill the hours I have available. There’s a non-zero risk that my deliberately taking time away from full-time employment hurts my ability to find great opportunities in the future. I worry about the impact on my reputation as an advisor to high-performing individuals from not personally pursuing full-time employment. But I believe that my daughter’s emotional and educational development will be enhanced by having the extra time with me, and my wife deserves the opportunity to experience growth in her career as I have been able to in mine.

 

Key points include:

  • Impact on reputation
  • Societal and corporate structures
  • Inequality of parental opportunity

 

Read the full article, Living My Values: Work-Life Balance, on LinkedIn.