Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Epic Battle of Career and Family!

"Making a Niche for yourself in the Profession, in the male dominated profession.."

This was a line out of a conversation that I had with Ms. P. She is 29. She is round, but pretty, stays all alone in Delhi for the last 9 years. I am not going judge her, but I do have to mention that at times, with the way she is, I feel that she is never going to get married. Something very common for female lawyers, or so I have been told when we both started to have the usual Career v the Family debate.
Not that this thought has never been drilled into my mind, *My mother always cribbed that no one marries a lawyer!* and with what Ms. P told me, it seems to be true. According to her, none of the top female lawyers in the Supreme Court are married. And when I raised my eye brows and looked at her knowingly *my boss is married, and she is a top notch lawyer* she just passed me a little wicked smile of hers, parked the car on the side way and took a fag.
All I did was, sigh, and shake my head. My boss is married. Here are the details- She got married 16 years back to a German. *She is in her late forties* her husband stays and works in Germany. For three times in a year they spend time together, and how-
When she is Germany *Which is mostly in the Summer Vacations* she can't really work. And when he is here *Which was like 10 days in October* she is in office also and she is working also. *Now you understand why I got the wicked smile from P* oh, no she doesn't have kids. Have parents back at home who are old and have their own schedules.
Even though she is successful, she is intelligent and an awesome lawyer and a person, at the back of my mind, and somewhere don in my heart I feel sorry for her. I know what it is like to be in a long distance. And, it almost wrecked Shayon and me, and after marriage, I know that I would NEVER ever want to be in a situation where he and I meet in our holidays.
This is the reason why, she never leaves office before 8 in the night and almost never gives an off even for festivals. She has no one to go back home to. Yeah, you can go back home to your parents, but then having that someone special to go back to each night, that is a different thing altogether.

Take the case of the other two juniors, they both stay on their own. M is a guy and as far as I know has a zero social life. The only social life I have seen of P is when she goes out with her friends drinking. But with an attitude that says that they are all below her and she is OMG so busy. Take for instance now, P's mom is here, and the way she is spending time with her mother *who she has met after so many years* had I been her mom, I would have had a broken heart.

And then there is me. Who has dance classes on Sunday. Likes to leave early at around 6.30ish because I  like to spend an hour with Shayon before heading off home. And I have a life. Thus am considered the most incompetent in the office. Ms. P has her fundas clean and clear and says that she cannot have a career and a family. They just don't go hand in hand.

This on the other hand has got me thinking a lot about why I cannot have a normal family and have a career? Why do I have give up one in order to have another? I know, being a career oriented woman means late nights at office, and less time spent at home.. but then, I am sure that if you do have your priorities right, you can have a high flying career and a family too. A normal marriage with children.
Or is my mind taking a leap into a weird direction? and this is not at all possible.

And how do you really define a high flying career? And what would you do with that career if at the end of the day you do not have the people who love you to share your success with?
Shayon and I have often wondered when will we have enough to enjoy the life that we always wanted to...but there is no definition to what 'enough' really is.

I know that I wanted to be a high flier like Zia Mody (She recently got an award for the Best Corporate Lawyer) but I also know that even though she is married and she has kids, there is no real family that she has. And, somehow, I am not ready to pay that price.
I know that I want to be a great lawyer. But at the end of the day, I also know that when I come back home, I want to spend my evening lounging around with the people who matter the most to me in my life. Any success that comes at the cost of love is hollow for me.

And I want to prove Ms. P wrong. I may not become a great Litigation Lawyer, but I will definitely become a great lawyer and have a normal loving family!
I want this for myself!

14 comments:

Shayon said...

i am really surprised at one thing! Why the hell does the husband leave Germany and come to India on October. I mean, it's Oktoberfest time! And who, in his sane mind, leaves Oktoberfest to have sex with a 50 year old haggard half way around the globe? :-s

ani_aset said...

oh my god so hectic? :O no wonder lawyers charge so much :P
May lord give you all powers to realise everything :D

Wicked Witch of the West said...

Lol @Shayon :D

And, I think it is definitely possible to have both. Yes, if you have a family you won't be spending the most time and so may not be the 'top' lawyer (although, could be the best quality still). But I totally think you are on the right track with 'at what cost'. A good career is only useful so far as it contributes to our happiness. For some people, maybe career success is their absolute top priority. They are often the less emotional types who are not very invested in their relations with family or friends. But for most of us, happiness must also include family, friends, and realisation of some other goals (whether it be travel, learning in other fields etc). So, it is about trying to find the best balance overall. There is no set mix, it is about our personal preferences, and knowing what makes us happy. The ones who are 'highest' in one field may feel they are the best, but it is my belief that the 'winner' is the one who is happiest.

And - three times a year! For so long! That is just horrrrrible. A few years are tolerable, but I can't imagine living like that for so long! I thought you guys did so well to tolerate it for so long, but that is just :O

BIG Omi said...

Dost itna load nai leneka... System crash ho jayega..

Me too a lawyer.. and preferable i wud marry a lawyer and i believe my other lawyer friends wud do the same.

Chanz said...

Hahaha. Shayon, that was good.. And Sakshi, you have a valid point. Its really difficult to make a choice between family and career. I question almost everybody around as to why can't I have a career along with a family. Why do I have to give up one of them. Infact, there are people who demotivate me saying that I am incapable of pursuing a career only bcoz I m quite a social person. And I don't like that

Jack said...

Sakshi,

Relax. Every professions has cynics. Don't you think Doctors too have a very hectic schedule? Don't they have career and family life too? What about Civil Services lady officers? If one has head properly placed on shoulders one can be a good professionsl as well as a good family person too. It just needs proper balance. It goes for both males as well as females. I know in family a girl has to shoulder more responsibilities but it is not something impossible. Just remembe YOU CAN DO IT. Those who talk otherwise need to apply their mind with little more openly and logically.

Take care

Sakshi said...

@Shayon
why am I not surprised at your comment? Silly!
I am sure that they have seen some of that fest! :P

@Ani
Yes, it is hectic. And I am glad someone realised that we work really hard to demand the fee that we do!

Sakshi said...

@WWW
I know ho it was not be able to be in the same city. Hell they are in two different continents.

I don't know how you would define a winner, but I certainly know that in the journey of life, I may have lot of money, even lot of fame, but if I do not have THE person to share it with, I am just going to be in a vaccum for the rest of my 'successful' career!

Sakshi said...

@Big Omi

This is a trend that I have seen, that most of the people marry people in their own profession. I also understand why, so that the other person understands the work pressure that you might be in.

But then, that does not mean that you cannot marry outside your profession and be happy.
My father is an Advocate and my mum a teacher. They both understand the work pressures.

But being a lawyer yourself, I want to ask you- why is that a lawyer's average marriage age is 27+. There are some who get married after 30. Why do you think that is the trend.

And not only females, there are loads of male lawyers too, who are not married.

Sakshi said...

@Chanz
Exactly my point. I don't understand, why being social is a harmful for having a successful career?

I mean, I thought, if you are anti-social, you are not promoted because of lack of interaction.

Totally weirded out1

Sakshi said...

@Uncle J
Lets just say that I am not talking about cynics here. You see uncle J, it is a very different ball game when you talk about a lawyer and when you talk about a doctor.
Being a doc is a noble profession, and being a lawyer is looked down upon. That is the way the society is.

So when I talk about battle here, I am just focussing on my profession.

But yes I do feel that it is very important to maintain that balance between being responsible with your family and at you workplace.

Shalini said...

GOD! Is it really that hard?

Bikramjit said...

hmmm well why wud you want others to dictate your way ...

and yes i am sure you will be a GREAT lawyer all the best to you

and really silly to say you cant have a career and family.. how rubbish is that .. You can actually do something great if family supports you...

jsut got to find a balance thats all :)
yes if u have priorities right you can have a great family life and a career tooo

All the best for everything

Bikram's Blog

Sakshi said...

@Shalu
Yeah it is that hectic :)

@Bikram
Thank you, and you have raised a good point here abut what not can you achieve if you have a family that supports you :)