The working dad tells us how he strikes a balance between his career pursuits and responsibilities at home

In an age of relentless competition and lightspeed progress, we’ve long come to terms with being expected to juggle multiple faces round the clock – boss, colleague, father, son, the list goes on. With seemingly endless task lists and elevated stress levels, we turn our spotlight to dads this month, wondering just how they manage to balance it all?

As a Banquet Manager at The Westin Singapore, David Tan is also a devoted husband and father of two. We caught up with him to find out how these roles intertwine and how he manages to balance them while never forsaking his passion and drive.



What does an average workday look like for you?

My day usually starts with working on the team’s schedule, followed by a team briefing to go through the agenda for the day ahead. On days when there are meetings or events, I’d have to ensure that everything – from set-up to the audio-visual equipment – is ready. I’d also be working with the Event Management team to discuss the banquet set-up for upcoming events. For the rest of the day, you’ll find me either in the meeting rooms or ballrooms, preparing for the next day’s events.


What has been the most fruitful achievement during your time at The Westin Singapore?

Holding the 2019 Marriott International Year-End Party. It was the biggest dinner & dance party ever held at our hotel. It was so grand and memorable. There were challenges, definitely, but we enjoyed every step – from the initial planning, right down to the day itself.


Have things changed for you in the workplace since you became a father? Share with us some lessons that fatherhood has taught you so far.

I’ve learned to be more patient and calm in the face of challenging situations. And more importantly, I’ve developed a deeper sense of empathy – which I find is essential in building relationships with my colleagues as well as our guests and clients.


Is it a challenge to juggle work responsibilities with fatherhood, especially with such a demanding job?

Yes, definitely! Due to the nature of my job, I don’t work the typical “weekdays from 9 to 5”. It’s inevitable that I’ll miss out on some of my children’s milestones in life.


What is your definition of “work-life balance” then? Do you think it exists for you?

To me, it’s all about making adjustments. It’s about spending quality time with my family whenever I can, while being responsible to my work at the same time.


How do you devote your leisure hours?

On my off days, I do some household chores and bond with my kids over activities such as sports and games, and of course, help them with their studies.


Would you encourage your children to follow in your footsteps and pursue a career in hospitality?

As a parent, I support whatever my children aspire to be. Of course, if they eventually join the hospitality industry, it’d be easier for me to guide them and give them advice.


If you could give a word of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Focus on your studies, always be humble, and always remain calm during times of adversity.