Fireside Chat with Tera Li Parizeau
March 10, 2023
“Listening to your spouse is like reading the terms and conditions of a website. You understand nothing, but still, you say… I AGREE…” (adapted from rishikajain.com)
All jokes aside, it is no joke when you are trying to find your equilibrium as a working parent, especially if you are living and breathing the Dual 10 phase. The daily grind and obstacles are real and seem insurmountable at times.
Fear not! You don’t have to face it alone. It takes two hands to clap and a village to raise a kid. Effective communication with your spouse and/or support system is key. Clear and constant communication allows you to set expectations, avoid and combat misunderstandings, build trust, and avoid the guessing game, among many other benefits.
With that in mind, welcome to our next Fireside Chat featuring Tera Li Parizeau! Tera’s candid and positive sharing reminds us that while juggling work life responsibilities is challenging, keeping the communication channel open with your spouse and finding a strong support network will help you navigate through those trying times.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Part 1 - Introduction
Hi, my name is... Tera Li Parizeau.
Year of call to the Bar: 2013.
Type of practice, your role, and where: Corporate tax lawyer, private practice.
How many children do you have? I have two kids. A four-year-old girl and two-year-old boy.
What do you do for self-care or stress relief? I try to exercise a couple times a week. However, it is hard to be consistent on a weekly basis given all the competing priorities.
What would you do for work if you weren’t in the legal profession? Business.
Part 2 - The first “Dual 10” Challenge: within the first 10 years post-license
Equilawbrium: Did you have a master plan for your career path? What was the driving force behind your career decisions? What are the important things to consider as you are figuring out your career path?
Tera: I wouldn’t say there is a master plan but there are goals that had I set for myself at each phase in my career. My goal was to become partner at my firm and now that I have reached it, I am striving for the next milestone.
An important factor to consider is my family and how to juggle competing priorities while staying present and being actively involved in my children’s lives. It is a challenging task.
Equilawbrium: Please list one soft skill that contributed to where are you now and suggestions on how to cultivate it.
Tera: The ability to manage different personalities.
Equilawbrium: Please list one hard skill that contributed to where are you now and suggestions on how to cultivate it.
Tera: Technical expertise. As the area of tax law is highly technical, this a hard skill that a tax lawyer must posses to be successful.
Part 3 - The second “Dual 10” Challenge: have kids in their first 10 formative years
Equilawbrium: How do you juggle work/life responsibilities? Is it possible to have a family life and a work life simultaneously and harmoniously?
Tera: I am able to juggle work / life with a full support system. Without a support system, my husband and I would not be able to balance work and family life. My support system consists of my husband, my parents and nanny. My parents are actively helping on a weekly basis which makes the world of difference.
Equilawbrium: What is your fondest memory of your kids at that age?
Tera: My favorite age is before they could talk but old enough to still walk and understand you.
Part 4 - Achieving Equilawbrium: how to survive & rise from the “Dual 10” Challenges
"The biggest challenge is carving out enough time in the day to work and spend time with the kids. I find the only way to manage this is to have constant communication with your spouse on your respective schedules." – Tera Li Parizeau
Equilawbrium: What was your biggest challenge going through the Dual 10 phase? Any advice for our readers who are living and breathing this phase and trying to survive and excel?
Tera: The biggest challenge is carving out enough time in the day to work and spend time with the kids. I find the only way to manage this is to have constant communication with your spouse on your respective schedules.
Equilawbrium: What is your take-home message for our readers who are trying to find their “equilawbrium”?
Tera: Personally, I can only survive these challenges because I have a strong support network.
Equilawbrium: What is the one-word encouragement/support that you would want us to remember?
<<End of Fireside Chat with Tera Li Parizeau>>
**A MILLION THANKS TO TERA!!**
Tera Li Parizeau is a partner in the Taxation Group at Cassels. Tera’s practice focuses on advising Canadian and international clients on domestic and international tax planning structures and restructuring. Prior to joining Cassels, Tera clerked at the Tax Court of Canada and worked at two global accounting firms in the transactional and international tax group. Tera is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant).
Disclaimer: Any views, information, and personal opinions expressed by the authors or guests are entirely their own and do not reflect or represent those of their employers or clients.