Work-Life Balance: Make it Work for You
The following Q&A is adapted from the webinar, “Tips to Survive and Excel as a Woman in Neuroscience,” hosted by SfN’s Professional Devleopment Committee's Women in Neuroscience Subcommittee (WINS).
How can women in neuroscience balance family with a very demanding research and teaching career? What kind of advice of guidance would you give young investigators?
Sheena Josselyn: Finding a balance is the trickiest thing in life. I don’t think it’s unique to neuroscience. I think that there are many careers that kind of feel all-consuming. It’s really important to realize that balance is going to change at different stages of your career. When you’re just staring out and getting established, it might be more time at work. The challenge with neuroscience is that usually starting a family and starting independent careers start at about the same time. Maybe we have to engage our partners and our communities — our villages — a little bit more in order to try and get closer to balance.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve found balance; I just sort of melded everything in together so I don’t have real boundaries. That works pretty well for me, but I don’t know if that would work for everybody. To address these challenges, at an institutional level, making it okay to take time off for childbirth or family reasons, and, from our end, be able to take a little bit of time off.
Make sure to watch the full webinar, “In First Person: Tips to Survive and Excel as a Woman in Neuroscience.”