Embracing Balance: Russ Tidwell on Career and Family Time

Not too long ago, a typical work week for Russ Tidwell was like a ceaseless 50-55-hour marathon starting at 6:30 a.m. Work-life balance was non-existent, and the demanding hours were exacting a toll on the most valuable aspects of his life: his family. Less than half an hour on any weeknight was all he could spare for his daughter Emmy, with barely enough time to read a short story and tuck her in for bed. Likewise, there was little time remaining to share quality moments with Millie, his wife.

The arrival of weekends was eagerly anticipated as a break from the endless loop of work, but that didn’t allow Russ to compensate for the loss of family time. “Lost time with your family isn’t something that can be made up for during a weekend. No matter how hard you try, the hugs, smiles, and laughs you miss will always be gone,” he reflects from BGE’s office in Fort Worth, Texas.

Russ was ready to reclaim what he had lost. In 2023, he bid farewell to the familiarity of his former job and decided to join BGE as a Senior Survey Technician. Now, he lives within a mile of equal distance from BGE’s offices in Fort Worth and Frisco. Because he had lived in the area, the family didn’t have to move when he accepted the position with BGE. Still, the decision to transition roles was not an easy one. It never is.

Choosing his career path had been much easier, thanks in part to Russ’s father, a veteran in the field of water and wastewater utilities who retired from the position of director of the City of Sarasota’s Utilities Department in 2020. “He encouraged me to consider a program with Texas State Technical College (TSTC): Drafting and Design with a specialization in GPS and GIS. Right after college, I landed my first job in land surveying.”

BGE’s job offer came with an attractive compensation and benefits package, including Dependent Care Sick Leave. When his wife underwent a medical procedure last year, he was able to be at the hospital with her for the surgery and recovery. “The remote work program that BGE offers helped tremendously. I was able to be at home while my wife recuperated and did things around the house that needed to be done.”

“Emmy is six years old and started kindergarten this year. The work-life balance that I have with BGE has really helped our relationship. I get to see more of her smiles, hear her laugh, and get random hugs just for being there! The best thing is that now I get to pick her up from after-school care each day, and she runs up with a big smile on her face, happy to see me,” he says.

Every night, they get to play “Super Emmy.” Russ throws her over his shoulders and flies Emmy around the house. “Overall, I can say I am a much happier person.  Being happier, I am more productive, enjoy being around my coworkers, and look forward to each day. When it comes to work-life balance, those are not just words at BGE.”

These days, the pendulum of work-life balance doesn’t swing erratically for Russ. He still arrives at work at 6:30 a.m., but his schedule allows him to align professional commitments and personal well-being harmoniously. He enjoys every aspect of his job: the history, the math, and the puzzles that make up the land surveying industry, especially “being able to pick up a deed or plat from the past, draft it, and figure out how it fits into the world we live.”

“The encouragement I receive from BGE’s leaders and coworkers to go beyond where I am pushes me to be a better employee, father, and husband. With the company’s supportive approach to work-life balance, I can pursue my career with passion. I have time to go hiking, fly fishing, hiking, running, and camping with my family. Not only that, but I can also tinker with my cars, a Mustang, and an FJ Cruiser.”

At BGE, we prioritize our employees’ ability to cultivate fulfilling home lives, recognizing that a balanced and supportive environment outside of work is essential for their well-being and success. That’s why we invest in providing exceptional benefits, empowering our team to thrive both personally and professionally.

Ready to explore a career with us? Click here to see BGE’s current job opportunities across the company.

Russ and "Super Emmy"
Russ and his wife, Millie
“Super Emmy” ready to fly