How I found true balance at Vanguard

What is important to you? Is it your career? Your family? Personal hobbies? For me, my best days are when I am able to dedicate time to both work and home. With so much going on in my life, there’s a reason I’ve chosen to make Vanguard my (professional) home for more than a decade – balance. My role with Vanguard offers me the ability to balance my personal needs with professional expectations, because of the mutual understanding that there are priorities from both sides.

For example, my wife has been very understanding on the late nights when I have things to finish at the office. My supervisor is understanding when I have to call off work because my three year old is sick. There have also been occasions when both my supervisor and my wife are understanding that I requested a day off to play golf or go snowboarding. So, how am I able to feel productive and still have a personal life? It takes a blend of many different values…

Vanguard work life balance

Health

I remember going for a run around campus during my first summer at Vanguard. I was returning to my building when I came across a parking lot with a basketball court. As it turns out, Vanguard has recess! Every day that it’s warm and the court is dry, 8-20 crew members meet to play some pickup basketball. After that fateful run, I changed my lunchtime routine so I could join the others on the court. Every day, I feel like I’m in 3rd grade heading out to play with my friends. It’s such a great way to relieve stress and clear my head, and it’s amazing how something as small as just having a basketball court on campus has an impact towards someone’s wellbeing. Vanguard understands that.

Vanguard work life balance

Flexibility

I was three years into my career when my wife gave birth to our first son. My supervisor at the time helped me plan to take a week of PTO starting the day that my wife went into labor. Not only was I encouraged to take the time, but everything went smoothly while I was out. Four years later, we had another son, and I took another week of PTO. Two years after that, things had changed – Vanguard was now offering paternity leave. I was able to take six weeks to spend with my family – a time that made a world of difference in getting my family settled.

In my experience, Vanguard is an extremely flexible company to work for. But first, you must learn how to do your job and do it well. Once you have established yourself as a productive crew member, then look to gain flexibility in the work place. Which brings us to…

Vanguard work life balance

Determination

I was lucky to get my first job with Vanguard. I was hired in 2008 during the economic recession and jobs in the financial industry were difficult to come by. It was a competitive time and I knew I had to work very hard to distinguish myself as a top performer. This feeling of constant focus on performance is something it took time to get used to. I had worked a few jobs since college, but none that had long term career possibilities. That was not the case.

I embraced this pressure and strived to be a distinguished crew member at Vanguard. In order to do that, I had to hold myself to a high standard. Sometimes that includes working late or coming in early. Sometimes I have to skip basketball during lunch. Sometimes I can’t make it to yoga class in the morning. I have missed dinner at the in-laws (not the worst thing). I know that the more I put into my work, the more I achieve. Finding balance during both the busy times and lulls at work is my goal.

Vanguard work life balance

Patience

Flash back to 2012. I felt ready for a promotion after having spent a few years in my position and receiving positive feedback. I knew that I would get my chance if I was just patient. After discussing opportunities with my supervisor, I learned that management would not be backfilling the position that could lead to a promotion for me. After I had this information, I knew it was time to seek other opportunities at Vanguard.

I went from Vanguard’s Institutional Investor Group to Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services. The new department was definitely a change of pace: I had to learn a whole new system, new processes, and different terms. Once I was up to speed, I used this as an opportunity to develop myself professionally. I took on extra responsibility. I established new connections and kept in touch with my current network.

Luckily my patience paid off. Not long after I left my old department, the management team opened the position that I wanted. I had been ready for this promotion for years, but I did not let that stop me from preparing for the interview process. I knew what people had done in the past in that role and knew what I wanted to change going forward. I am currently still working in that position and consistently find new challenges and ways to grow within the department.

So what do I want you to take away from my story? First off, good things come to those who work hard. Also, it is important to balance your hard work with times of relaxation. Balancing relaxation with hard work does not always go according to plan and it is important to be flexible when things are not going your way. Patience pays off: when the right opportunity comes along, it will feel like things were just meant to be.

-Andrew B.

If you enjoyed this post, check out more from our #LifeatVanguard Blog. And if you’re ready for a more rewarding, engaging, meaningful career, search our opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.

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