Growing up with lawyers for parents, it would have been expected that Janice Block take the path directly into the family business. And while working in law was certainly appealing to the young Midwesterner—she spent plenty of dinnertime conversations as a child discussing the topic—Block had her sights set on a different career: journalism.
After high school, Block headed to Princeton University, where she majored in history and focused on journalism—specifically, the role of the news media in shaping historical events. But as graduation approached, she still had that itch for law. Applying to both law schools and journalism master’s programs, Block chose journalism and decided to attend the one-year program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Q: How did your career progress next?
A: In 2002, after five years, I retired from Microsoft. Microsoft had hired me when I was seven months pregnant with my third child. But my husband also was a professional, and having a dual professional couple with multiple children is tough. Work-life balance was a huge issue. My husband and I had to decide whose career took a back seat. I decided mine would. I was retired for about a year and a half. But I was consulting for Microsoft the whole time.