Personal rules are essential for your work-life balance

04 Mar

Personal rules are essential for your work-life balance

Anders Elbak
Research Manager, IDC Nordic

Read full bio  @anders_elbak

This blog is the second in a series about leadership, gender gap, diversity and work-life balance in the tech world.

An interview with Anders Elbak

I work in the Nordic research/consulting group. My work days actually vary a lot: I do some primary research but spend significantly more time communicating and conveying our market research in presentations, client workshops, whitepapers, and “classical” IDC reports. In addition, I spend quite a lot of time supporting sales scoping projects and preparing proposals. 

Q: Why did you choose to work at IDC?

I never really deliberately chose IDC per say. I believe I had just started my second semester of my masters degree in marketing and economics and applied to a job advert that looked interesting. The reason I stayed with IDC was the large responsibility I was very quickly handed – both in terms of client interactions and in developing my own work processes – and eventually the products and services we offer.

Q: Any recommendations or insights on work life balance?

I believe IDC (Nordic) is unique in the flexibility in terms of working from home, leaving the office early etc. without formal approval processes. However, it is also a very busy organisation where there is always something you can put a little extra effort into or a new task to take on. To maintain a good work-life balance, I believe it is nesessary to set rules to yourself (and follow them). Personally, I never read emails or pick up the phone from I leave the office untill the kids are asleep – and I try not to think about the three hours of work I need to do from 10 pm onwards. Moreover, I (almost) never work during vacations or weekends – at least from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

Q: What would you tell young students, say those in school/university, to focus on as they prepare to enter the workforce?

I think there are several things young students should consider. First of all, always choose something you like – at least to some extent. In an IDC context, it can be the tech market developement, the research methodologies, or producing relevant content, but there has to be some likable element(s). Do not select courses etc. solely because you think it will pay well after you graduate. Also, try to find a job relevant for your studies and when you get a job, make sure it “feels right” – even if it is not necessarily on your predefined carrier path. Finally, think like Pippi Longstokking – “if you haven’t tried it, you can probably do it”, but adapt to your work environment somewhat better than she does to school…

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