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Living on top of the World: one woman has it all

Krithika Hansen is the Learning and Development Manager for Pitcher Partners, and…you guessed it! A working mum! She has been kind enough to share her story with us. She tells us about her working life before and after kids and how she manages that infamous work/life balance. Enjoy!

Prior to having kids, I worked at DeakinPrime as a Programs Director within the former Coles Myer Institute. Currently, my role is the Learning and Development Manager at Pitcher Partners.

As the Programs Director, my role involved working with the GM’s and HR Managers of various divisions to consult, design and develop a range of people development initiatives ranging from Coaching Programs to Talent Development Programs.  Prior to having children, I worked full time and didn’t think twice about working longer hours or having meetings after 5pm to get a project completed. I had a very clear career path that I wanted to pursue and was very happy to put in the extra effort to achieve my goals.  I loved what I was doing and it was in this role that I felt my real passion for Learning and Development/Organisational Development start to flourish and bloom.

In my current role as Learning and Development Manager, I am involved in a wide variety of projects that have a strong strategic link to the overall people development framework.  I work 4 days a week and I have to be disciplined with my time to make sure I get my work done ideally within the 4 days.  Many would argue that working 4 days is like working full time and I would say that I do take on a number of projects that keep me challenged and busy and could very easily fill in 5 days and more.  The way that I manage it is by looking at timelines and having conversations with my stakeholders to determine how the project will run and what resources are available to help get the work completed.  This process not only allows me to be involved both at a strategic and operational level but also provide opportunities for growth and stretch for members within the Learning and Development team.  There are the occasional times when I do have to work longer hours or take work home, but I find overall the balance is really good and it’s a matter of me being realistic with what I can achieve considering there is a family involved.
When I was looking for a change, I was clear that I wanted to work part time in a role that provided challenge and opportunity and one where I could add value with my experiences and background.  I knew I couldn’t commit to more than 4 days and shared this up front with all the people I spoke to as part of my job search.  I was pleased to hear how supportive everyone was and felt that it was a realistic request to make to my future employer.  Pitcher Partners has been a very supportive of me as a working mother. 
How do you successfully juggle a successful career and family life? How do you make it work?

I have 3 children – Noah 5, Toby 3, and Maya 2.  It’s crazy in my house as you can imagine.  My husband has a very full job that requires him to travel and work long hours.  With no family support in Australia, I have learned to ask for help.  We have a nanny who helps us out 2 days a week and my husband and I arrange our schedules so we can do drop offs and pickups at school and day-care the other days.  I am lucky to have a lovely group of friends who are there to help if we ever need it and treat us like we are part of their extended family. 
We have a planning session as a family every Sunday morning over breakfast and talk through what’s coming up for the week and how we will manage it.  The kids are fantastic at throwing in their suggestions (realistic or not) as they understand that it’s just the 5 of us and we have to work together to get the tasks done.  We can’t always have dinner as a family every night so in our house, we have breakfast every morning.  It requires us to get up earlier so we can have this time together, but the effort is so worthwhile as we start each day together.
Even though both my husband and I have busy jobs and interested in growing our careers, we make sure we have time for each other by having a monthly date night and protect our weekends to make sure we are able to spend time with our kids and doing what they are interested in doing rather than filling it with various activities.
I still have my overall career goals from my pre-children days that I am pursuing. The difference is the pace in which I’m pursuing my goals. I have had to learn to accept that I can’t work the long hours and still be able to be there for my husband and children. I have had to make peace with the fact that it will be a slower journey and once my kids are at school then I can re-evaluate where I’m at.

Krithika Hansen
Learning and Development Manager

Pitcher Partners

Published by mums@work