BY DOUGLAS J. GUTH | PHOTO BY MCKINLEY WILEY
Streeter, 40, is a regional sales manager with Minute Men HR, selling payroll and risk management services for the Cleveland-based human resource provider. From a workaday perspective, her corporate comeback has not required any major shift in mindset. Prior to her new gig, she had started and managed a successful home-based floral business as well as helped market her husband David’s law firm.
“My first ever job out of college was consulting for a company where we implemented HR systems, so I’ve been in this arena before,” Streeter says.
The larger adjustment has been figuring out the work-life conundrum met by many educated, career-minded women. As Streeter has only been at Minute Men since November, making time for both the office and her family presents a question she is still trying to answer.
“I’m not fully adjusted yet,” Streeter says. “I underestimated what working women go through.”
Meeting deadlines away from home means recalibrating comfortable family-centric routines, she notes. The Olmsted Falls native had homeschooled her four children, ages four to 13, for four years before enrolling them at St. Thomas More School last fall.
Now, with free time limited due to work, seemingly routine tasks like planning dinner and coordinating bedtimes for the kids has taken increased effort. She and her husband have also been busy finding a daycare service for their youngest, as well as making room in their schedules for a family vacation.
“When I was homeschooling, people asked me how I did it, but it was much easier than going to work in some ways,” Streeter says.
Stressful though her new day-to-day can be, Streeter is managing her “to-do” list with the assistance of a resolute family and an understanding employer. David, for one, has taken over much of the cooking, shopping and child-care duties she had previously been the point person on. “He says he’s my man-wife,” Streeter jokes.
Meanwhile, her children have made a smooth transition back to school, with the eldest helping the younger siblings with their homework when the need arises. A spreadsheet of daily chores created by their parents is also being followed with a minimum of grumbling.
“I’ve learned just how resilient my kids really are,” Streeter says. “Their lives have changed dramatically, and I’m so proud of how they’ve gone with the flow.”
Minute Men is a family-focused company, which has given Streeter additional flexibility as she wrestles with the ideals of being present with her loved ones while putting all she can into her job.
The key to creating quality time at home is planning and maintenance, Streeter says. “We don’t have a cleaning service, so it’s critical to do a little bit every day to keep the house clean, especially since the kids are home after school,” she says. “On Sundays we plan meals, shop, and do the laundry for the week.”
Streeter rejoined the workforce initially for the financial stability not always apparent with self-employment. As regional sales manager at Minute Men, she is harnessing the savvy marketing and sales skills that helped her develop her floral design business to over 60 events annually.
“I’m planning, strategizing and collecting information to find out what product might help a prospect,” Streeter says. “My background in business helps me relate to the struggles of an employer, and I feel productive putting my analytical skills to work.”
Those skills were initially honed at Kenyon University, where Streeter studied economics. After graduating in 1997, she joined Andersen Consulting, one of the “big six” accounting firms at the time. Though she embraced the challenges of the consulting industry, she was not so keen on the weekly travel, which eventually led her to an analyst role at Ohio Savings Bank.
Streeter married in 2000, leaving the cubicle behind to raise a family. An entrepreneurial fire burned bright even with two toddlers in tow, leading her to start her flower enterprise, Fleurs de France. She loved the business, but the 16-hour days put a strain on her family life, and she closed shop in 2009. A freed-up schedule allowed Streeter to assist her husband’s business as well as develop her own relationships through networking.
Streeter’s time at home has given her a clearer perspective about maintaining one’s sanity in the workplace. “If I had this job in my 20s the stress would have been worse,” she says. “But now it’s like work is the easiest piece of the puzzle. Sales isn’t easy, but I know what I need to do to get the job done.”
In her free time she enjoys gardening, exercise and party planning, while she and David make sure to schedule the occasional date night. Streeter is slowly getting back into these activities, and expects to take all she’s learned from a lifetime of hard work to ensure that a harmonious — if not letter perfect — balance is achieved between the daily grind and a happy life.
“Work is just a piece of my life, not something to take home and lose sleep over,” she says.
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