Balancing and Prioritizing Your Professional and Personal Life

Shalini Singhal

Head of Investment Operations and Data Governance in Asset Management IT at Swiss Re



Professionally, I manage a large global team. I am a hands-on manager and I like to get involved with what people are working on. Personally, I am a mother of three kids. As a mother, I, too, like to be involved with my children by attending their sporting events, school plays, or award ceremonies. There are times, though, when I find it challenging to balance my priorities between these two worlds, my personal and my professional life. One such difficult situation comes to mind where my son had a field day and yet I also had an important presentation at work on that same day. Of course it's impossible to be in two places at once. So how should I balance and prioritize my work with my personal life?

Actions taken

I decided that I had two options. Either I skipped my son's sporting event, or I could delegate my presentation to somebody on my team whom I trusted. Once I narrowed it down to those two possibilities, I had to determine which one was more important to me. This thought process helped me navigate the situation.

Ultimately, I decided that I would delegate the presentation and attend my son's sporting event. A couple of factors weighed in on my selection. First, I did not want my kids to think that I was showing favoritism to one child over the other. I had already participated in my daughter's event so I thought it would be unfair of me not to attend his. I supported her and so I needed to support him equally. Second, there was a trusting member of my team who I felt confident in delegating the presentation to. That person had already been supporting the analysis activities prior to the presentation and they were funneling into the creation of the documents. Therefore I knew that they were familiar with the content. The only gap came down to seniority, because I am the head of the team and so they asked me to present. But I was certain that this person knew the material and that I could trust them to present it. In fact, they did a wonderful job with the presentation.

Lessons learned

  • I think that being a female in a leadership role there is an expectation that we have to do everything. Actually, I feel like that's true for most women. But from my experience, I'm here to say that you don't have to do everything. You just need to choose what is right in
  • I believe that simply recognizing that there are options and that you always have a choice is one thing that everyone should comprehend. Think outside the box, approach the situation from different angles, and devise different methods for how to accomplish things.

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Shalini Singhal

Head of Investment Operations and Data Governance in Asset Management IT at Swiss Re

Leadership DevelopmentDecision Making

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