Home “Very few of us can be successful in our career without support from home”

“Very few of us can be successful in our career without support from home”

Mike's story

 

Mike Sum, 40, from Sutton Coldfield, says he’s struggled to find the right work-life balance since the birth of his daughters Lily, seven, and Harriet, three.

 

Mike took six months paternity leave from his role as a senior buyer for National Grid when Harriet was born so his wife, Wendy, could return fulltime to her own recruitment business

 

Mike then worked 8am to 4pm four days a week at National Grid until he moved to a new employer in September 2015.

 

His new role was fulltime and included an 80-mile round-trip commute each day. His working week including the commute was often 60 hours long.

 

He said it was often hard to leave on time because of managerial pressure and a culture of presenteeism and that his request for more flexible working was turned down.

 

The pressure from the new role caused friction between Mike and his wife at home and Mike feels this is in part responsible for the breakdown of his relationship.

 

Mike left his current role in August 2016 and is looking for new opportunities.

 

He said: “Very few of us can be successful in our career without support from home, or the right mechanics in the background. And vice versa, you need to be relatively flexible in your working life to be the right parent at home. This is even more important if both parents have career aspirations.”

 

Mike shared his story for National Work Life Week 2016. Read more stories of how people manage their work life balance.