Having It All?
The fall seems to evoke universal ‘self-renewal’ amongst moms; professional and stay-at-home. This was obvious to us at workharmony when we watched our traffic to the site spike on the first day of school—almost implying that post ‘drop-off’ moment resulted in a contemplative moment amongst women, to reconsider their career options.
So what are your options? Well, as I like to say (particularly this season)—gray is the new black.
Today, women are carving better deals to maintain their careers via part-time or contract roles within organizations. Those who have opted to stay at home are finding their way through entrepreneurial, out-of-the-box ideas or reinventing themselves as they jump back into the professional workforce.
So how are they doing it?
By managing expectations and marketing themselves ‘smarter’. Perfect balance or ‘having it all’ is a little like utopia—in our mind it exists but in reality it’s more likely to be found next to ‘the fountain of youth’ than around the corner from your home.
I tend to have two types of conversations with moms and interestingly enough, both are remarkably similar. There is the stay-at-home mom who is planning to re-enter the workforce because ‘it’s time’ (for whatever reason) and the professional mom who is planning to scale back on work and focus more on family because ‘something has to give’.
It isn’t hard to see that both sets of women who want this utopia called balance need to give something up to get it. This presents a fundamental challenge for many women who have been walking around thinking they could and should ‘have it all’. But trust me, having it all is exhausting.
The key to solving this puzzle is to determine not what you thought you wanted, not what you think you should want but what you really want. I warn you, this is more challenging than it sounds.
What do you really want? Write it down.
If you are like most people, you’ve written a few things down. For the next few days I strongly urge you to revisit your thoughts and get it down to one thing to be sure that this is in fact what you want.
And next week—I’ll share thoughts on how you can get it!