Balancing career and parenthood as a working mom 

Balancing a thriving career with the demands of parenting is a challenge that many navigate with remarkable resilience and strength. Meet Deb James, Senior Manager,…

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Ruby Huang

July 5, 20244 minute read

Balancing a thriving career with the demands of parenting is a challenge that many navigate with remarkable resilience and strength. Meet Deb James, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition at OpenText, who embodies this balance.  As a dedicated professional and a loving mother to her young daughter, Deb expertly navigates the challenges of her dual roles with grace and determination. 

Deb, could you tell us about your career at OpenText? 

I started my journey with OpenText in 2019 as a Talent Acquisition Advisor in Waterloo, Canada, supporting Finance and IT hiring in the Americas region. Today, I manage our global recruitment marketing initiatives and our intern and new graduate hiring programs in Canada. 

As a working mom, what strategies have helped you to balance career and family life? 

For me, working around the chaotic expectations of being a working, single mother isn’t always roses. I am fortunate to have a supportive employer. OpenText has a trusting and flexible culture that allows me to be present for my vibrant and busy seven-year-old and deliver a high level of value in my role. Because of our hybrid work arrangement, I’m able to drop off and pick up my daughter from school. I can be close by if she is sick or needs me, which is important to me as a single parent.  

Another thing I love about OpenText is the vast network and support system of other incredible women in our WOW (Worldwide OpenText Women) Employee Network. This group has been a significant source of support in my journey as a working mom. Women from every walk of life are in this group, and it offers a safe space for open dialogue, where we can share professional advice, personal insights, and celebrate wins. I’ve connected with so many colleagues with similar experiences who understand the challenges I face, and I’ve been able to lean on colleagues for the invaluable wisdom and support that only fellow mothers can provide. 

How do you prioritize self-care while juggling the demands of parenthood? 

It can be challenging! But taking care of both my physical and mental health is essential. Prioritizing sleep has been a game changer for me. Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating regular physical activity help boost my energy and make me an overall happier, more productive parent and employee. OpenText also offers fitness benefits, so a portion of our fitness, wellness programs or gym memberships can be reimbursed, so that’s been great too! 

I also had to work hard to establish clear boundaries around my free time and communicate my limits to colleagues and family members. It was difficult in the beginning, but I find it very necessary to not let my work life spill into my personal life and vice versa. 

Another practice I incorporate is setting realistic goals and celebrating accomplishments – no matter how small. I have also built a strong network of family, friends, and childcare services to share responsibilities with. I used to hesitate to ask for help when I need it, but now I make sure I do and always reciprocate when I can. It really does take a village!  

I also try to find joy in everyday moments. Whether it’s a walk in the park with my daughter after school, or a quiet cup of coffee before everyone wakes up, these moments can provide a quick recharge. 

Any last pieces of advice you would like to share with fellow working parents? 

Balancing work and parenting is challenging, and societal expectations can add even more pressure. I would tell other parents that it’s okay to question and challenge those societal norms that dictate how parents should balance work and family. Advocate for policies and practices that support working parents, such as parental leave and flexible work arrangements. And let’s celebrate diversity in parenting styles, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. So, find what works best for your family.  

Lastly, I would encourage you to embrace imperfection. Society often paints a picture of the ‘perfect’ parent, but perfection is an unrealistic goal. Embrace the imperfections and understand that doing your best is what truly matters. 

Interested in joining Deb and becoming a part of Team OpenText? Check out our open roles on our Careers page today!

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Ruby Huang

Ruby Huang is a Senior Talent Acquisition Advisor on OpenText’s APJ Talent Acquisition team. With experience recruiting in both the North American and now APAC regions, Ruby is enthusiastic about connecting talented individuals with exciting career opportunities. Driven by passion and curiosity, Ruby is actively involved in and leads the various employer branding initiatives at OpenText.

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