Feeling Fulfilled with Work-Life Balance
Dec 2, 2021 by Brenda Larson
As a young girl growing up, Brittney Thoreson came to the Alexandria area with her family to visit quite often. Her grandparents lived here. Together, the family enjoyed spending time on the local lakes and getting every opportunity they could to experience the beautiful outdoors.
Later in life, Brittney was looking to make a career change. She and her soon-to-be husband really wanted to focus their search on the Alexandria area. She said, “My grandparents live here, we love the lakes, and we love to be outside. So, we knew we would love living in this area.” With nine days before their wedding, Brittney and her fiancée took a leap of faith and moved to Alexandria. They have not looked back since.
She started her career at Knute Nelson in 2011 as a Housing Advisor at Grand Arbor. As she worked through leadership training offered by Knute, Brittney advanced into her current role as Vice President of Operations. As her work responsibilities grew, so did her family. She comments, “I have had all three of my babies as a Knute Nelson employee. They really do support work-life balance. Anytime I've had a conversation with someone who is wondering about Knute Nelson or wanting to come work at Knute, the biggest thing that I talk about is work-life balance … because I've lived it.”
Their oldest son Kael, who is now 9 years old, is a third grader at Voyager Elementary school. Their son Crosby is a rambunctious, six-year-old who just started school at Voyager. And then there is Macie, their sweet baby girl who is ten months old. Thoreson points out that, “Work-life balance at Knute allows me to go to work and do what I love every single day. I know that when my children are sick, Knute is going to support me being home and snuggling with them.”
Brittney started out as a Housing Advisor for just one housing facility, and now she oversees all housing buildings. Her job has its demands and is also filled with rewards. She says, “My job is to make sure that my leaders are equipped with the resources and growth opportunities to grow themselves so they can grow their teams.” Through her experiences and all that she’s learned from her time at Knute, she realized that she not only grew from a professional standpoint, she also grew personally. Knute supports her being able to get to her children’s events, and to have many cherished moments with her kids, especially as they are growing up fast. Before Knute, she said “Work-life balance is something that I can truly say I’ve never experienced anywhere else.”
Brittney is the first to admit that being a working mom is hard. “Anyone who is a mom that balances both getting your kids out the door in the morning and going to work as your best self, and then going home to be your best self while caring for your kids, is a challenge. But when all is said and done, when you know your job is making a difference for someone else, it makes it a lot easier.” She says it also makes it more fun to go to work. “Working for an organization or working with people that make the workday fun, helps make life easier when you need to balance the struggle and tiredness of being a working mom.”
Knute also gives Brittney and her family many other benefits. Knute offers a great benefit package that is very affordable. The personal leave time grows quickly and allows her that flexibility to take a day off to be with her children or go on a family vacation. There are also opportunities to get involved in the community. Knute offers eight hours of paid leave time for full-time employees and four hours of paid leave time for part-time employees to go out in the community and support local programs through volunteer work. Getting involved in the community helped her to meet new people. Coming to a brand-new town, she knew no one. Supporting her community helped her to create new relationships.
She reflects, “I think at the end of the day, we would have never done as well as we have in Alexandria without work-life balance. My husband and I both came from completely different parts of the state, we took the leap of faith to come to a new company, and to a new community … how cool that I get to say I made a life in the area that I grew up coming to. I am now able to support my grandparents as they age, and to spend time with my parents, who now have a lake place around Alexandria. Watching the relationship with my kids and my parents and grandparents is something that I will always cherish. And I know they will cherish it too. Growing our family in this wonderful area and setting roots within our community, was something I never thought was reachable. It's just a great place to work and raise a family. I can't imagine doing it anywhere else.”