Work life balance-sustainability is the key

Lawyering

I think I have not written any post on mental health or work life balance before.

It is a difficult topic.

We have different needs. What one person needs for mental health and work life balance is different for another person.

With the demand that comes with the nature of my job (M&A and ECM transactions), it is a challenge to achieve and maintain work life balance at times.

A lawyer I know used to go to bed at 10 p.m. This lawyer soon changed practice areas.

ECM transactions, in particular IPOs, are pretty much deadline-driven.

Submissions for IPOs need to be done within six months after the end of the most recent financial year of the companies seeking for listing. Advisers for IPO transactions need to identify and help clients to resolve all the issues, prepare the deliverables and meet the submission deadlines. No adviser wants to be the reason why the clients could not submit their IPO submissions on time.

I was thankful to an adviser who is an early riser instead of a night owl. It meant we ended the prospectus drafting meeting slightly past midnight instead of 2 a.m. for an IPO exercise which we worked on together.

Clients decide when they want to sign SPAs and close M&A deals. I once worked on an M&A deal where the client and counterparty agreed to sign the SPA on a Sunday after a week of intense negotiation and late nights amending draft SPA because that Sunday was an ‘auspicious’ day to sign SPA.

When it comes to multi-jurisdictional deal, working around the clock is probably the norm. You wouldn’t want to be the reason why the clients could not close their deals on their timeline.

When I saw junior lawyers skipping lunch so that they could complete due diligence review faster, I told them to think of their career as a marathon rather than a sprint.

Sustainability is not a key word in the ESG space only. It applies to career too.

My advice to myself- understand myself, make changes that I can accept to fit my career aspirations and make peace with the things that I cannot/choose not to change.

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This post was first posted on Linkedin on 17 June 2022.

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