A recent article in the New York Times reported that Financial Careers Come at a Cost to Families. By studying Harvard graduates over 40 years, the researchers were able to calculate the financial cost of taking a year off for a number of different careers. The penalty ranged from 15% to as much as 41%, severely penalizing those who took a break, for whatever reason. Careers in finance, which have been increasingly sought in recent years, appear to be particularly bad at allowing people to balance work and family life. Interestingly, consulting also falls into that category, and medicine appears to be one of the most flexible and forgiving careers.
This seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but comparison of the results with other studies showed similar results.
Is family-friendliness, or work-life balance, important to you? How important? And how well is your current career meeting those needs? If your needs and your career situation are not aligned, reading this article may give you some ideas for ways to tweak your own future and bring your life more into balance.