Teilen KoveAs a new parent, it’s common to quickly get accustomed to high degrees of fulfillment and exhaustion. Trying to balance caring for your child with maintaining a career can sometimes leave you feeling like neither part of your life is getting the attention you’d like to provide.

This is why Teilen Kove decided to spend the first year of his daughter’s life away from work. Although this isn’t a common choice for new parents in the U.S., Tielen knew that it would be so worth it.

Prior to his daughter’s arrival, Tielen had been working as a Salo finance consultant, which gave him the freedom and flexibility to choose the roles he wanted to pursue. He talked with the Salo team about his desire to take significant time off between projects and everyone agreed it could work.

For the first year of his daughter’s life, Tielen and his wife were able to share the caring responsibilities for their new baby—carrying her around the house in a sling, putting her in a jumper, and being there for bedtimes and mealtimes. He was home when his daughter took her first steps. He took her for her first swim. As a family, they ventured to Florida for her first trip. “I remember all those moments. It’s such an amazing experience.”

Tielen loved the (sometimes exhausting) process of learning about his new role as a parent. The same goes for his work on consulting projects—the burst of learning opportunities at the start of any new role is his favorite part of consulting. “I love the excitement of that exhaustive learning period and being really into the work.”

When he was ready to pick up again with consulting project work, Tielen was surprised and delighted by the professional development and growth he was able to experience. He initially assumed clients would want him to already have experience doing what the role requested. “Almost all of my roles have been fairly different from things I’ve done in the past. I’ve been surprised that all of my roles have been open to [me trying] new things and learning new things.”

He’s mindful of continuing to find balance between family and career. All the learning required for new roles can take a toll. After successfully spending time away from work while his daughter was a baby, Tielen now takes every summer off to actively enjoy Minnesota summers with his family. “The opportunity to take these long breaks [between projects] allows me to start each new project with excitement.”

Between the ongoing career development, the flexibility to choose interesting projects, and the freedom to take summers off has him planning on consulting for quite some time. “I can’t even really imagine going back to a permanent role.”

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