How do you combine your career with raising a family is a question many professional women would love to know the answer to as they ponder how to balance their personal career ambitions with their desire to be around while their family grows. Unfortunately there is no magic formula because like all things individual and complex it’s not really that easy. What works for one woman and her family won’t necessarily work for another. The key is more about finding the magic formula that works for you.
But how do you do that? Where do you start?
Trying to carry out two major roles at the same time is never an easy task and combining a fulfilling career and family life takes a whole of effort, juggle and management to make it successful. So it will already be that much easier to navigate it if you are starting from a place of loving the work that you do. All too often women will wind down their career and get stuck in low level work or change what they do all together to do work that fits around the family or that doesn’t stretch them too much. That may serve you well for a while but what do you do when you want more from your career, more fulfilment, purpose and advancement yet you’re feeling torn or afraid to take the leap for fear of the repercussions it could have at home?
Here are some important factors to consider when working out what’s right for you:
Put yourself first, then think about how it’s going to work around everyone else. Instead of thinking of finding or doing work that fits around your family as the first priority, think about asking yourself what you want first. When you’re happy and fulfilled then that will pass on to all of those around you so it’s important not just for you but for those you care about. It’s the first step to a balanced life.
Get clear on the “what” and the “how”
Of course, when you are trying to balance your career and your family, it’s not all about you. Once you’ve figured out what you love to do then it’s equally important to think about how you do it, so that it works for your family too. At this stage in your life it’s more complex than just finding work that you love.
Making a change to your career doesn’t have to be huge
These days more often than not when we come to have children, we already have a good chunk of experience behind us in our career. So when it comes to making changes to adapt to family considerations they don’t always have to be huge. Looking first to see how you could make your current role or career work better for you could be a good place to start before you decide to rethink and start all over again.
You don’t need “one true vocation” or passion to have a fulfilling career
All too often women get stuck on the career issue and spend so much time pondering their purpose or feeling bad or lost because they don’t feel hugely drawn to one thing or another. But what if you didn’t need to have a specific calling in life or vocation to do work that you love? More important perhaps is to have a clear vision of how you want your whole life to look like and create a way of working that incorporates the best bits of the experience you’ve had so far.
Don’t do this on your own
They say it takes a village to raise a family so it must take a city to raise a family, manage a successful career and run a household. When looking at any career decision, bring into consideration everyone who is going to be affected, and get the support you need to make it happen. It’s all well and good finding the ideal career for you but sustaining it is bigger than you when you also have a family to consider. Be honest about the support that you need, ask for it and find it.