We all know what “work-life balance” is supposed to mean, but sometimes it’s tough to visualize what it actually looks or feels like (especially if you’re having one of those weeks where you’re basically living at the office). And while you’ll be hard-pressed to find two women — much less two working moms — whose ideal work-life balance scenario is identical, some employers are painting a pretty remarkable picture of how we might be able to reach a better balance.
Zynga is one of those companies...and we’re not just saying that because we’re mildly obsessed with Words with Friends. We know, because we spoke to its VP of user acquisition, Kimberly Corbett, who filled us in on some of the amazing ways that Zynga helps make the whole working mother thing as easy as possible. You may laugh at the word “easy,” but the “family-first atmosphere” Corbett describes sounds pretty amazing.
While Corbett had her son before she began working at Zynga, she still raves about the company’s “awesome maternity leave policies” (read: 26 continuous weeks of paid maternity leave in addition to 12 unpaid weeks) and “great resources for childcare” — and she says “it’s an awesome place for kids to visit.
“The lobby has a light tunnel, there’s an airplane hanging from the rafters, and there’s even a basketball court (and obviously videogames)!” Corbett adds. “They also do awesome seasonal events like Halloween where everyone brings their kids in.”
While Corbett has a challenging job — one she even refers to as “fairly intense” — she says it makes it a lot easier that her workplace supports families and is a fun place for her son to visit. She loves being a part of the Women at Zynga employee resource group, which encourages her to attend “amazing events” and bond with other professional women — many of whom are also moms.
While many companies have great resources that help employees do their jobs well, Corbett’s experience highlights the fact that Zynga is a place where employees feel well-supported not just professionally, but personally as well. It’s simply understood that everyone has a life outside of work, and that allowing employees to be present in all parts of their life will ultimately lead to more productivity in the workplace and beyond. We love how Corbett describes it: “I think we all know that moms slay when it comes to multitasking,” she says.
At the same time, she adds, being a working mom makes her want to ensure that when she is with her son, she’s present and making the most of that time. “If that means I leave early so we can connect and finish work after he goes to bed, or wake up an hour before he is to catch up, so be it!”
Worried about how you’ll come across to your boss if you’re clearly prioritizing your family as well as your job? Corbett suggests getting comfortable quantifying and speaking to your contributions. She puts it plainly: “moms aren’t a special case that need different treatment. They are brilliant people who probably have attributes and experience you really want in your business. So as a mom, don’t act like you deserve less. You don’t.”
Of course, she’s fortunate enough to work for an employer that encourages flexibility and supports employees’ personal growth and a healthy perspective. Ultimately, it’s important to identify what matters most to you, what you are most passionate about and pursue those things with your whole heart, Corbett explains.
“To do that, you can’t feel guilty about loving time with your family or feel guilty about loving your job,” she adds. “Love it all and embrace it! Lastly, find time to take care of yourself. Work will always be there, take time for your health.”
Corbett also shared some insight that’ll resonate with anyone who’s struggling to find the right job or career path. In another life, she was an auditor, and she confesses that she “hated being an auditor, which means I was probably not a very good auditor. We are never excellent at things we don’t like. One thing I learned then, that I still apply today, is to look at what your career would be like in five years. Are the people in that position happy? Would you be happy there? If the answer is no, then move on.”
If it is indeed time for you to move on, you’ll do yourself a favor if you check out the job openings at Zynga. They’re hiring like crazy!
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