“You can become anything and do everything,” says Jeet Dhillon

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By Sabrina Almeida

Jeet Dhillon says she learned to multitask from her mother and that has helped her maintain work-life balance. Can-India spoke with the Senior Portfolio Manager with TD Wealth Private Client Group about how she keeps it all together and the example she wants to set for her daughters.

Jeet and Harjinder with their 2 daughters,           Asleen (9 1/2 yrs) and Ariya (16 months)

How do you achieve work-life balance?
I work at TD Wealth and some of my colleagues recently looked at this topic in a report called “Women @ Work”, managing career, family and legacy. For me, work-life balance requires family members to be flexible and a lot of organization. My husband and I take a tally of everything that needs to be done. It is a week by week co-ordination of schedules and outlining each responsibility. The good thing is that my schedule is very flexible. However when it gets tight for the both of us, we are able to tap into extended family to help.

What’s your advice to working mothers?
It’s about taking time to do those smaller in-between things that really bring meaning to the family or to yourself. It’s about the touch points—like putting in a little note in with their things or calling up during the day to say I’m thinking about you.
My career is part of who I am. I have things to do for my work as well as my family in a given 24 hours. Some days work might take priority but I also have flexibility that my families can take more of priority on other days.

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How was your mother an inspiration to you?
I had a stay-at-home mum who looked after the finances, house and social commitments. She kept everything glued together. The way my parents worked as a team was an example for me. Even though my mum came from a very traditional background and didn’t have the same opportunities, she recognized that it was important for us to be focused on education and career. Learning to multitask at a very young age really helped me keep all things in balance as an adult.

Many South Asian women are struggling to cope with family pressures. What’s your advice?
Again it is about having a clear communication and dialogue. When I was introduced to my husband Harjinder, I discussed my career plans with him and my future family. I needed to make sure they would support me the way my own family did. It was almost like we were interviewing each about things that were important to us. I think that sometimes the fear in the community is that if women have an education and career they are going to forget about some of the things that are important to the family. In my case my family and culture are still important to me and an add-on to my career so I will juggle the two to make it work. If you are able to demonstrate that you will be able to balance the two you will get support. You’ve also got to understand what their objection or concern is and how you can help to solve it. Before marriage my mum was my pillar and now it is my husband. My support system has increased.

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What would you like to teach your daughters?
I would like to instill in Ashleen and Ariya, the same kind of things that my mum did in me. We have a rich culture in our South Asian heritage and I don’t want my girls forget that. Yet at the same time I want them to have confidence that there are no traditional barriers in this country and we will support them in their educational and career aspirations.. They can become anything and do everything. I believe that if you work hard and communicate your aspirations, you will achieve them. While I’m using myself as a role model they also have older cousins who have also set that example, that they can become anything. I’d say that if you want to have family, career, social and community involvement—you can have it all. Yes, you have to manage and be able to juggle things but it is possible. – CINEWS

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