Home / How to Get Into a Top MBA / Is An MBA Worth It? / Work-Life Balance

Achieving Work-Life Balance as a Top MBA Graduate

At Menlo Coaching, we believe in careful decision making about all the ins and outs of your MBA, including what comes after. Founding partner, David White sat down with Jamie Cheney, a 2007 graduate of Harvard Business School (HBS) and the founder of the successful recruiting company, Prokanga, to discuss balancing work and family life and Prokanga’s own approach to flexible recruitment. 

Skip around to the topics that interest you most using the chapter selector, , at the bottom right of the player.

Flexible Work Recruitment

Prokanga fills a gap that often exists in the business world: it helps people find high-end, flexible work. From a client perspective, this means that Prokanga can look at a number of solutions and help find talent that works full-time, part-time, or in a consulting capacity. The latter two functions are what allows it to cater to candidates who cannot work full-time for various reasons. The end result is clients who have access to a higher tier of talent than they would be able to get in the full-time pool and candidates who are able to do well-paid, fulfilling work despite being unable to work full-time. But who are the candidates that are looking for part-time work?

Most often, it’s parents—especially mothers—who find that the current workforce doesn’t accommodate both parenting and full-time work. In a sense, flexible work may be the best post MBA job for moms.

The Myth of Simple Work-Life Balance

For MBAs in top careers, it is often simply impossible to maintain a work-life balance without sacrificing something. Aligning with the paradigm of “Lean In“, Jamie expressed that she herself was caught up in the myth that it was possible to “have it all.” And for many in the business field, working harder and working smarter are options that have carried them to the tops of their classes and, later, their careers. But, post-child and, especially, post-second child (the majority of Prokanga’s candidates join just before or after their second child-leave), Jamie explains that “it’s not about how hard you work, but the [number of available] hours in the day.”

Businesses like Prokanga strive to make achieving work-life balance more possible by offering the kinds of jobs that allow for people to do high-level work on a part-time basis. For example, a job might include consulting a small private equity firm that is launching their first fund. They might only be able to afford a top-level consultant for three days out of the week which is the perfect opportunity for one of Prokanga’s working moms or part-time candidates to be fairly compensated for the time they are able to put in. 

The Advantages of Flexible Work Schedules

If you are a top MBA grad and you find yourself in a position where you need to work part-time, there are many advantages to choosing a flexible work schedule and using recruitment services like the ones Prokanga provides.

All in all, taking advantage of a flexible work recruiter and taking on part-time or consulting projects during child-rearing years can help you stay engaged with the business world and get the most out of your MBA without feeling like you cannot have any time for family or a personal life. 

See more from our interview with Jamie: How one HBS Alum Leveraged her MBA for Entrepreneurship and Why Get an MBA, Even if You’re Unsure of Your Career Goals