How a Working Dad (*me*) Champions Work-Family Balance (repost from FlexJobs.com)

The folks at flexjobs.com were nice enough to interview me for a feature on their website. Here’s a copy of the article.

How a Working Dad Champions Work-Family Balance

by:  FlexJobs Director of Content & Community

Flexjobs.com interviewed me, and made me look really good. Thanks!!!!
Flexjobs.com interviewed me, and made me look really good. Thanks!!!!

Scott Behson wears quite a few hats. He’s an Associate Professor of Management and a popular blogger on the topics of fatherhood, work, and family. He’s also a husband and father, and his academic research focuses on the topics of workplace flexibility and work-family balance. Naturally, we couldn’t wait to talk to Scott! Read on for some great anecdotes about how husbands can help their wives “lean in” to their careers, how being a father can make you better at your job, and some great resources for working parents.

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Why I Don’t Cover Baseball Any More

Carter Gaddis had his (and every baseball fan’s) dream job as the beat reporter for the Tampa Bay Rays. He gave it up to be a more present father. Here’s his story.

Guest Blogger and former Rays beta reporter, cater Gaddis, with his kids at the Trop
Guest Blogger and former Rays beat reporter, Carter Gaddis, with his boys at the Trop

“Sharing Experiences” is a series of posts in which a variety of dads, all in different work-family situations, share their experiences. I hope this series can forward the important conversations we have here, and spark ideas we can apply to our own lives.

Opening Day of Baseball Season (which should be a national holiday) is just four days away, so here’s a guest post that fits the happiest day of the year! Enjoy- SB

Why I Don’t Cover Baseball Any More

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NCAA Tournament Coaches- Michigan’s John Beilein (Final Four!) and Belmont’s Rick Byrd- Career Priorities, and Tradeoffs

Coaches Beilein and Byrd took different paths to the NCAA tournament, involving different work-life trade-offs. What we could learn from their stories.

Both Beilein and Byrd are fixtures during March Madness
Both Beilein and Byrd are fixtures during March Madness

I’m not a big college sports fan, but I enjoy March Madness. The school spirit, close games, tantalizing upsets are a perfect recipe for excitement.

But this year, something else caught my attention. Some coaches, like legends Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski, have helmed prestigious programs for decades. Most coaches aren’t that fortunate.

To climb the ranks of college basketball, coaches often parlay success at a smaller program into a new job at a larger one, often changing employers many times until reaching the highest ranks. This ambition and career focus is admirable, but must come at a cost to other aspects of life. Imagine moving your family cross-country five times in a 20 year period? This has to take a toll.

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Watch Me on Huffington Post Live!

I was happy to be asked to join a panel of experts and parents on HuffPost Live for a half-hour live show,  “Leaning Together,” about Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and Lisa Belkin’s article about how, in order for women to “Lean In” to careers, men have to do more at home.

A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!
A screencap of my 3/19/13 appearance on Huff Post Live!

The segment originally aired Wednesday afternoon, but you can watch it here at your leisure. http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sheryl-sandberg-lean-in-housework/514681e42b8c2a44010002a2 (please follow the link, stupid WordPress doesn’t embed video very well)

It was a great discussion about careers, gender, and the division of paid and household work between couples. I defend men as more involved than they are often given credit for, and emphasize the importance of discussing your priorities and career goals with your spouse, and acting like a true team in order to support each other.

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Taking My Own Advice on Fatherhood, Work and Family (or, helping my wife Lean In)

My wife just started a new show, leaving me to shoulder the load for a while so I can help her “Lean In” to her career. Four ways our family is preparing, plus a plea for advice.

My wife's career as a stage actress has led to lots of cool experiences, funny costumes, and work-family juggling
My wife’s career as a stage actress has led to lots of cool experiences, funny costumes, and work-family juggling

I’ve written before about my wife’s career as a stage actress and the work-family challenges it presents:.

Amy is a musical theater actress, and her work schedule is demanding, haphazard, inconvenient and inflexible (but, even in her brutally competitive field, she is talented enough to be working all the time!).  If she’s called for an audition, it is often scheduled for tomorrow! and it cannot be rescheduled to fit her preferences.

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Simplifying: Living With Less Can Leave Us With More

Freeing oneself of unnecessary possessions and financial commitments can eliminate stress and open up time and energy for the more important things in life- involvement with family and pursuing meaning in one’s career. Here are two people who have done it, and some advice for us all.

Fight Club’s Tyler Durden had it right (well, not the whole blowing up a city thing, but still): “The things you own wind up owning you

The third rule of Fight Club: "The stuff you own winjds up owning you" (official movie poster)
The third rule of Fight Club: “The stuff you own winds up owning you” (official movie poster)

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Recent Pew Survey Shows Progress and Challenges for Dads’ Work-Family Balance

Recent surveys show that more dads are stepping up at home, while maintaining their commitments to their careers. In many ways, this marks progress, but also presents challenges to involved working dads. How can we better handle these challenges?

A slideshow of Pew’s Findings:
Modern Parenthood
Men Are Committed to Both Work and Family

There is growing evidence from the recently released Pew Research Center study of parenthood, as well as from Boston College’s Center for Work and Family and the Families and Work Institute that men are facing increasing work-family conflict and stress as they expand their involvement in the home and with their kids, but continue to feel pressure to provide and to stay fully dedicated to their employers.

In some ways, it is the converse of what working women have been facing for some time. Men are expanding their commitment to home, while facing pressure to maintain their time and commitment in the workplace- in short, men face many of the same challenges as women in terms of “having it all”.

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Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and Its Lessons For Working Dads

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” also contains lessons for working dads

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book, "Lean In" also has some great lessons for working dads
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In” also has some great lessons for working dads

I admit I haven’t yet read Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead”- it was just released today. But I have read a lot of what has been written about the book, and think that, while Sandberg’s book was obviously written for working women, it contains lessons for dads as well.  I’ll read and review the book as soon as I can (if it is as good as her TED talk, it will be excellent), but until then, here’s what I’ve picked up so far from the media coverage:

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