Mentor Spotlight: Bill Bergofin
SVP Marketing at NBC Sports

Bill Bergofin Is there such a thing as “work/life balance”?
 
It’s always going to be a challenge to find time for all of the things in your life, ultimately you have to make sacrifices on both ends to achieve true balance, and yes, it is possible to be successful in all aspects no matter how demanding your work is, or how voracious your work ethic may be. 
 
What is an example of how you work to achieve such balance?
 
Prioritizing meaningful moments, whether it’s carving out time for colleagues and staff on a regular basis, or simply sitting down with my wife and daughter for dinner as many nights as I can during the work week. Being present in all relationships is what matters most. 
 
What has been your biggest obstacle in balancing between the two?
 
Time. It’s the universal obstacle -and opportunity- to accomplishing everything that’s important to you and your career, so prioritization is critical.  I find making a promise to myself and those around you to focus on the most important -and often fewer things- that if you accomplish first and foremost will have the greatest measurable impact
 
How can people advocate for work life fit without feeling they are imposing on their workplace responsibilities (or vice versa)?

 
Recognizing that everyone is trying to accomplish the same balance that you are can be liberating.  If you look at most senior executives and leaders you will find that they accomplish a great many things both personally and professionally, whether it’s donating time to a cause, competing in a triathlon, or spending time with family.  Look at how they prioritize their goals and you will find that being the "first in and last out” doesn’t necessarily get rewarded at work and certainly not in your personal life. Work smart.  
 
What are 3 strategies that you feel lend to a successfully balanced life?

  1. Communicate:  Make sure everyone knows who you are both inside and outside of the office along with understanding your goals and approach to ensure there are appropriate boundaries in both directions.  
  2. Plan Ahead:   Focus on the big things first and the rest should fall into line.
  3. Pay Yourself First:  You will find that if you take care what is important to you first and have your personal life in balance, your work life will almost always follow suit.  

Mentor Spotlight: Laurel Bernard
President, Entertainment Marketing, Simulmedia, Inc., and PromaxBDA Board Member

Laurel Bernard Is there such a thing as “work/life balance”?
 
I definitely think there is a work/life balance.  It may not always be a completely even scale as some days require more “work” and fewer, but important days require more “life”. I think you need to challenge yourself to make the most of your non-work hours and do things you love as often as you can, even if it’s only for a few hours at a time.  That will help your free time feel more fulfilling.
 
What is an example of how you work to achieve such balance?
 
We tend to waste a lot of time if we leave everything to the last – and that’s usually time outside of the normal workday because you are forced to catch up. Get ahead of it, being organized and proactive gives you much more free time in the long run in both work and personal life.
 
What has been your biggest obstacle in balancing between the two?
 
We tend to blame obstacles in life on various experiences but while these experiences, such as a new baby or a boss that works 24/7, have made the day-to-day more challenging, in retrospect I have to admit that at different times in my life I was my own biggest obstacle. I’ve learned to get out of my own way. If I am feeling overwhelmed I take a step back, breathe, think and listen. I find inspiration from various sources, such as TED Talks, I seek advice from people with great perspective and occasionally I allow myself to fail. Failing allows me to get up with a clearer perspective and stronger resolve. 
 
How can people advocate for work life fit without feeling they are imposing on their workplace responsibilities (or vice versa)?

 
Overall your growth will come from a lot of little wins. When you’re not in the office make your personal time personal. Try putting down the phone, stop checking emails every minute you are not in the office. Learn to identify those times when you will need to be on alert 24/7 and appreciate the time that you don’t.  

Work hard. Show your value. Your work ethic and reputation are valuable when you need consideration for flex time to focus on your personal life.
 
What are 3 strategies that you feel lend to a successfully balanced life?

  1. Develop trust at work.  It’s worth putting the extra time in when you start a new position and then your manager will trust that you are going to always give your 100+%.  It will pay off in the long run. 
  2. Have communicative relationships with your supervisor.  My very best bosses have become mentors.  Because of the hard worker thing, it was always easy to say I needed a day off or a little longer vacation.  With one of my bosses, I used to call days where something personal came up “life intersections” and he always, always understood.  A lot of that came from his temperament but a lot of it came from the fact that he trusted me.
  3. Challenge yourself to make plans after work or have a family schedule that your boss knows you need to stick to.  You will be more likely to get your work done during the day because you know you cannot stay late that night.  And, if you do 1&2 above as well, you’ll have a boss that knows you have her or his back and they’ll be fine letting you manage your own life.  And take vacations!  Even if you can’t afford a trip, take some time away from the office.  Everyone needs a break! 
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