Scott Behson at the WSJ recently did a post on a man who gave up a high level position to spend more time with his family and… he’s happy.
Last month, Max Schireson gave up his job running a billion-dollar startup to spend more time with his family. And he couldn’t be happier.
Part of me thinks this is a fantastic article. The other part of me finds it incredibly funny in the ironic sense. Think about it. It’s newsworthy for a reason, perhaps for many reasons. We don’t see a whole lot of men who say that they’re cutting back on work for their family. Usually, they say that they’re working hard for their family even if they don’t get to spend much time with them.
Behson asked Schireson about the notoriety:
What do you make of all the publicity your decision has generated?
This whole scenario has gotten way more coverage and attention than I ever imagined. I thought I was just writing a blog post for friends, family and a few colleagues. I didn’t expect it to go viral, and for major media to run with the story.
Lots of people, and lots of dads, make decisions to accommodate their careers to their families. What I did was ordinary—actually most have far harder decisions to make—but my position as a CEO gave the decision notoriety that I didn’t expect and that resonated with a lot of people.
But the publicity may have done some good. We all struggle with work-life balance and there’s no easy solution. I think everyone needs to find the right balance for themselves, and to do this, we need to have more dialogue about work and family, especially among men, and at higher levels of the corporate hierarchy.
And Schireson has some great wisdom about what really matters in family life – the little things.
Now that you have more time, what are you most looking forward to being able to do with your family that you couldn’t do before because of your career demands?
The best thing is being able to be so involved in all the day-to-day aspects of being a parent- helping with homework, reading to my kids, being there for bedtime every night, just the little moments that happen in life—making lunches and driving to school.
The joys of parenting aren’t just in the big fun times or special events, it’s in these smaller moments where you can really be with and be connected to your wife and kids. That’s what this decision has enabled me to do. I couldn’t be happier.
Sometimes it takes big decisions to be able to enjoy the little things in life…
Schireson is fortunate to be leaving a prominent career to which he can likely return and which has left him with the means to be able to enjoy his decision in a stress free way. Not everyone has that luxury. But maybe more people have more luxury than they realize…. It’s just a thought. Feel free to weigh in below in the comboxes.