Balancing choices
B.S. Thaur

Having it all... and Making it Work
by D. Quinn Mill, Sasha K. Mattu and Kirstin R. Hornby. Pearson Education Ltd. Pages 144.

Having it all... and Making it WorkThis book is about maintaining a balance between oneís working life and family life. The authors have given a six-step plan to help shed differences and dichotomies that often exist between couples. The six steps are in fact sure-shot tips as how to have a fast-track career and a fulfilling personal life. With a realistic and action-oriented approach, these steps give a concrete plan that helps you stay on track with every thing that really matters in your career and personal life. Guiding you to move from where you are to where you want to be, the steps tacitly build up a conviction in their practitioner/adherer that one cannot have everything in life. But when it comes to what matters most, one can have it all.

We often hear the advice to put first things first but the challenge arises when we have two or more first things, and it becomes difficult to decide which one should be the first. Having a fulfilling career takes up a lot of time in a personís life and having a family is also a tremendous challenge. We want both and we do not want to give up one for the other. Thus, the inherent tension, if not outright conflict, between career and family is very real and problematic and needs to be resolved. This book helps you take a decision, and that too without regrets.

The much-emphasised balance in working and personal life does not descend itself from the above. For instance, when work takes precedence our relationship suffers; when our family takes precedence our career suffers. The point of balance is to prevent either work or family from taking precedence, so that neither suffers at the hands of the other. When career and family get their proper places in oneís life, the balance is achieved. For this purpose, one has to be proactive to maintain balance by fixing priorities. Generally, we constantly doubt the choices and accuracy while fixing priorities. These predicaments can be overcome if a periodical re-evaluation session is scheduled, so that there is no reconsideration and murmuring before the scheduled time. Otherwise, it badly affects your capacity to be happy with your priorities and choices.

Many a young person who are on the threshold of their career generally have a notion that they will religiously pursue their career for the first 15 years, achieve a position, get rich and thereafter enjoy life with the family. But by that time the relationship with family goes awry. This is a real-life experience quoted by one of the authors.

The book contains a series of incidents from real-life experiences of different persons and each of the six steps has been well elaborated and supported. It is based on the family conduct, environment, employment opportunities, societal behaviour and other relevant conditions as prevalent in the US. It canít be wholly applicable to Indian conditions where the elderís say still prevails in the conduct of family, even though their sons and daughters-in-law in the family may be working couples and living separately. However, the situation has been changing fast. With the opening of economy in India, advanced professional education, women competing with men in every field, these six steps can work wonder toward a happy and balanced life, especially for working couples.