Residential Magazine

You’re Not Alone in the Struggle for a Work-Life Balance

There are ways for mortgage professionals to manage both a family and a career

By Mandi Feely

Women in the mortgage business often strive to have it all: a successful career while being the best wife, mother and leader in the roles they fill each day. This can be exhausting but incredibly rewarding when they find a balance that allows them to excel in multiple ways. 

If you’re a woman in this industry, you need to unapologetically give yourself permission to focus on both your family and your career. If you also make decisions that are rooted in love, you will never be steered wrong.

There’s no doubt that a work-life balance can be a struggle. This can be seen in last year’s McKinsey & Co. report about women professionals and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a survey of 40,000 employees, the management consulting company found that women struggled with the blurring lines of work and home life, and one in four considered taking a reduced role or leaving their job altogether.

It’s possible for women to have both a career and a life, to not feel insane or out of control, and to be at peace with where you’re at and where you’re going. Here are some tips that may help if you are currently struggling with juggling everything you have going on in life. 

Accept reality

There may be things you can and should eliminate from your daily routines, things that you can ask your spouse to help you with, or tasks that can be addressed by enlisting hired help for your team at home or at work. If you are striving to be the best parent and the best in your field, however, there are some realities you must accept.

Being the best in anything is relative, and there is no existing bar that you will reach and overcome. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, so setting daily and weekly goals is important to help measure your success. This is your race, so start by not comparing your race to others. Give yourself grace and celebrate the small wins that create success.

Accept that if you want these things, juggling a lot of different duties and being stressed on occasion is going to happen. You won’t always have everything dialed in, no matter what you do. It is more about how you react to these situations and the frame of mind you’re able to maintain. 

Enlist help — it will reduce your stress level greatly. If you are spending hours driving kids around town, hire someone to help drive the kids to the places they need to go. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic and trying to manage your business while feeling torn between your kids and the job tasks you need to complete. This is where making decisions based on love comes into play. 

Work for others

If you approach your personal and professional relationships from a standpoint of love and empathy, no matter how difficult it might be, you won’t be led astray. If your children and spouse see that you are doing things around the house and giving them guidance out of love, they are going to feel supported, even if it takes them a week, a month or years to come to this conclusion. 

When you fill the cup of others around you, your cup will be filled as well. Mortgage originators work crazy hours to reach their professional goals, but they should always make time to do special things for their family so that these people also know they are a priority.

Likewise, when you are working on behalf of your clients, and they know you have their best interests in mind to help them reach their financial and real estate goals, it will resonate. This is where raving fans and the greatest future referrals come from. Your database of past clients who have entrusted you to guide them through the financing of their home loan will bring you the greatest joy of your professional career.

Retain your values

Don’t take shortcuts in life, either personally or professionally. No matter how tempting it is, show up every day — for yourself, your family, your co-workers and your clients. 

Stay true to yourself by doing things the right way. This will always lead you down the correct path, even if it doesn’t always yield the most profitable results. Lead with integrity in all aspects of your life. Your professional reputation is one of the most important parts of your brand — protect it at all costs.

Your children learn by example. They are always watching and learning from your choices and behaviors. At home, stay true to your beliefs and principles, and try not to say one thing and do another. It is much easier to parent if you aren’t asking your children to do something you aren’t willing to do. This may seem like oversimplified advice, but it’s true: As time goes on, your kids will know what the expectation is and live by it.

For many in the mortgage business, the values that get them to jump out of bed each day are passion, gratitude, optimism and plain grit, which also will help them get through the hardest days. Remember your “why.” For many people, it’s their family. This focus will help you navigate through anything.

Turn off work regularly and make time for your family. It simply must happen, and if you can only do this in increments, then slowly add it into your life.

Seek support

Behind every good professional or parent is a strong support system. Not every parent has a spouse, but typically they have someone who serves as their support system. For single moms, lean on family and friends to help you reach your goals for work-life balance. 

If you’re married, rely on your spouse for support but also for advice, even if the other person isn’t in the mortgage industry. When you’re stressed, your partner can talk you through your struggles. 

If you do not have a spouse, you surely have a friend or family member who can be or already is a sounding board. Look to spend more time with them. And don’t just let them be an outlet for you; be one for them as well. This is an example of doing things out of love. 

Model behavior

Turn off work regularly and make time for your family. It simply must happen, and if you can only do this in increments, then slowly add it into your life. Your family can’t know you as being halfway present. 

Having said that, it is important to show your kids what it means to be successful. Empower them by letting them see your work ethic. Talk to them about your work ventures and how you are trying to accomplish goals. Explain what you do, even if you constantly try to describe what it is you do for a living. If you have a son, show him that women are important in the workforce. If you have a daughter, be an example of a mom who is a successful and respected businesswoman.

Women today (and throughout history) face unique challenges. These challenges will never completely go away, and humans in general will always struggle with pressure, anxiety and expectations. These tips can help you throughout your career. There are two emotions that influence how most major decisions are made: love and fear. Choose love. ●


  • Mandi Feely

    Mandi Feely is the branch manager of Premier Mortgage Resources in Meridian, Idaho, and is the leader of Team Mandi (her origination team). Feely has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, including positions as a loan processor, originator and manager. She landed among the top producers in the nation this year in Scotsman Guide’s Top Women Originators rankings. She was born and raised in Idaho, and graduated from Boise State University. She lives with her husband Cory and two kids, Aly and Blake.

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