My POV on COB and WLB

While I’ve been teetering between three volunteer “jobs” and creating content for my blog, book, and future radio program (no, I don’t have a program in development, but a girl can dream) a great debate has been stirring on work-life balance for working women. So much, maybe too much, has been said already so I won’t offer any new points of view. But I will share one point that I just read on HuffPost ( that resonated with me:

“I think work-life balance is something you can only achieve later in life,” said Merit E. Janow, a professor of international economic law and international affairs at Columbia University, the first woman member of the WTO Appellate Body and the chairman of NASDAQ Exchange LLC. She adds:  “You can’t start off with work-life balance and be successful. Period. If you’re not willing to acknowledge that, then there are certain lines of work that you shouldn’t go in. I think maybe people haven’t quite accepted that reality.”

I hear from many 20-somethings today that their new jobs require long hours, well past the proverbial 5pm end of business. They find it difficult to fit in volunteer work, exercise, or even cleaning their apartments. While I’m sympathetic, my response is: “Duh.” It’s work. Whether the work involves clients, sales, training, or services, whether it is profit or non-profit, creative or routine, it’s work and work happens when it needs to happen.  And rarely on your preferred schedule.

In my first post-MBA job I was asked for my POV by COB, which I quickly learned was point of view by close of business. But what was considered COB, I wondered? Five PM or midnight? Eastern or Central Time? My POV was that COB needed to be defined else I miss the deadline. And my POV on WLB (work-life balance) is that it’s all in your definition of balance and it’s not always in your control. That’s work and that’s life.

One Comment

  1. I heard a very wise woman speaker (whose name escapes me because I’m a mid-century baby) say that the goal of work life “balance” should be replaced by the concept of work life “integration.” This is spot on. If one believes that one will ever feel like work and personal lives are in balance, one will forever be disappointed. The digital age has enabled work to seep into home and vice versa. So now more than ever, expect the two to be intertwined and instead of hoping to ever see them in equilibrium, aim for a percentage of both coexisting in your daily life, with the percentages varying with the demands of the moment.

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