Mark Goldberg


Putting family first

I have always had jobs that allowed me to put my family first.

That was a priority for me in choosing a career path. I was fortunate to have bosses who understood and who made accommodations to help me keep family first.

Of course, a few times, work priorities meant making compromises. There were a few months that I was working out of the Washington DC area on a proposal to the US Government, so my employer flew my young family to the Detroit area to stay with my mother-in-law to be an extra set of hands. I flew in for my daughter’s second birthday party and then flew back to DC to continue work on the proposal.

A few years later, in the midst of preparing for the hearings that led to the introduction of competition in Canadian telecom, the lawyers were put on hold while I popped back into Toronto for a couple hours to go to a special kindergarten presentation. The teacher commented to my wife that she thought it was great that I had the kind of job that allowed me to come to school in the middle of the day.

I was somewhat surprised to see a tweet from CBC that appears to mock a decision by Joe Natale to put his family priorities first:

Putting family first may not be the path for everyone, but I have no regrets about having chosen that for myself. When I started consulting, I was able to choose projects based on whether they allowed me to maintain the kind of work-life balance that was important to me. I am grateful for that.

We often see women put their careers on pause for family reasons; maybe it is unusual for people to see a man make a similar choice. That is too bad, but I don’t think it is really that unusual.

TELUS is a better company because Joe Natale was a part of the senior leadership for the past dozen years.

CBC shouldn’t be asking if you would choose to move to Vancouver to be CEO of TELUS. The right question to ask is whether you would put your career ahead of your family. Would you choose family responsibilities over a job…. even if the job is CEO of a major company?

How would you choose?

1 comment to Putting family first

  • I also was fortunate to work for a company that understood my family responsibilities, and this allowed me to keep my family first. For this reason alone, I continue to work for my bosses. I believe more companies should put more emphasis on maintaining a healthy work-life balance, this is because it would result in a happier employees, that would in turn lead to more productivity.