Photo courtesy of Bank of America
Sabrina Brathwaite believes in setting realistic goals for herself, including when it comes to work-life balance.
“Honestly, my life is not always in balance and I’m not sure I will ever achieve total balance,” she shared. “I am a working parent of an 8-year-old. My advice would be to give yourself some grace. Everything is not going to get done, and it’s OK.”
As COVID-19 sent many parents inside their homes to juggle remote work days alongside their kids’ school schedules, the need to battle unrealistic expectations, either self-imposed or from employers, has been a challenge. But not for Brathwaite. At Bank of America, where she works as a Senior Financial Advisor, she’s received plenty of support and flexibility, including when it comes to caring for her son.
“Bank of America has been great,” she said. “The bank offers funds that allow me to hire someone during the day to help my son with school work. This will be very helpful as we move through the school year.”
Recently, Brathwaite shared with us how else she’s managing work and home life during the pandemic, her approach to delegating as a senior leader, and her favorite way to de-stress.
Tell me a bit about your current role. What are your priorities?
As a Financial Advisor, I work with families by listening to them and learning about their financial goals and concerns. A lot of the strategies I develop involve wealth accumulation, retirement planning and college savings planning. I really prioritize assisting my clients with benchmarking where they are and coming up with a specific plan to get them to where they want to go.
Paint a picture of a typical day for me. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
The first thing I do when I wake up is some type of mental and physical activity – usually yoga and meditation. Before I go to sleep, I do some stretch and mental exercise to wind down physically and mentally. In between these two time frames, I am working with my team to bring optimal client service and meeting with new potential clients.
What does “balance” mean to you, and in what ways do you feel like you’ve achieved it?
Honestly, my life is not always in balance and I’m not sure I will ever achieve total balance. What I have learned to do is to focus on the person or task that is in front of me at the time. This means giving my total attention and being present in the moment. When I do this, I feel balanced even if I haven’t accomplished everything on my to-do list.
Attaining work-life balance can’t be done solo. What people, resources and tools do you rely on to get it all done?
I have learned to become a delegator. Delegation isn’t per se pushing things I don’t want to do to someone else. It is my goal to find someone who has the expertise, knowledge and is better than I am at completing certain tasks. My team members are an intricate part at helping me get things done. Also I rely heavily on my calendar. If it isn’t on the calendar, it most likely will not get done.
How have you had to adjust your schedule during the COVID-19 crisis?
Big adjustments! We are working from home and now virtual school has started for my 8-year-old son. I have to strategically schedule client and team meetings where I allow time in the day to make sure he’s on track with his school work. Also in between, I have to make sure he has eaten lunch and various snack breaks.
What resources or support has Bank of America offered you during the crisis?
Bank of America has been great. The company has enhanced its benefits for those caring for children. The bank offers funds that allow me to hire someone during the day to help my son with school work. This will be very helpful as we move through the school year.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as you are navigating this ‘new normal’?
The biggest challenge is taking time for myself. Since work and home are now in one place, I find myself not being able to define clear boundary lines between each.
As a working parent, what advice do you have for other women who are working remotely with their children at home?
As a working parent of an 8-year-old, my advice would be to give yourself some grace. Everything is not going to get done and it’s OK. Also ask for help when you need it.
What is your favorite way to de-stress outside of work?
Meditation and yoga are my go-to activities that help me stay centered. I also like to jog and move around a lot. I spend a lot of my day in my head while working, so it feels good to move around and have awareness of my body.
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