YPOV: Maintain Work-Life Balance as a New Parent


It is no easy task to meet deadlines and stay focused at work while battling the exhaustion of caring for a newborn. For chemical engineers who have demanding careers, it may never seem like the right time to start a family. Take comfort in knowing that many AIChE members have done it before and they are willing to share their experiences. Here are some tips for staying organized and effective at work as a new mom or dad.

Make organization a priority. Preeti Sharma, a process safety engineer for Colonial Pipeline Co. and a mother of two, learned a few strategies for staying organized while working full time as a new mom. “Find an organizing system that works for you and use it for everything. You don’t want to forget a critical task because you thought you’d remember it,” says Sharma. “The sleep deprivation is real.”

For those women going on maternity leave, Sharma recommends writing everything down for reference later. “I personally chose electronic note-taking because it’s easier for me to search and cross-reference, but do what works for you. When you return to your projects after leave, it will be immensely helpful to have detailed notes,” she says. And, she advises, “before you forget them and return to work unable to log in to your phone or computer, write down your passwords and keep them some place safe.”

Establish a plan for...

Author Bios: 

Emily Frangenberg

EMILY FRANGENBERG is the Managing Editor of Chemical Engineering Progress (120 Wall St., 23rd Fl., New York, NY 10005; Email: emifr@aiche.org, Phone: (646) 495-1347). She edits CEP feature articles, which cover topics ranging from distillation and heat exchange to process control and safety, and is responsible for preparing the Catalyzing Commercialization, Journal Highlight, and Safety Minute columns for publication each month. She received a BS in chemical engineering from Villanova Univ.Read more

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