As a society, we lack a proactive dialogue around the reality of how women’s careers are impacted by having children. Few women prioritise a focus on this when deciding what tertiary course to choose or how to channel their professional development.
This is a strange phenomena given many women see motherhood in their future. Equally, there are conversations to be had and action to be taken by men wanting to be fathers given childcare is not a mother only role.
So you find yourself with a bub in arms and a profession, an employer, a commute and an industry which no longer seems fit for purpose. You are not alone.
Motherhood is a time when many women reorient to their career. Questions arise around “is this what I want to be doing if I am away from my child”, “can I feasibly do this job with a kid who needs to be dropped off/collected/may get sick” etc. In essence, this is offen driven by practicalities but the arrival of a child can often change perspective on meaning and purpose.
As a result, it is common for women to change roles, employers and often professions and careers whilst seeking practical logistics, flexibility, meaning and purpose. If you are finding yourself loathing the idea of returning to your job or in a role that is no longer right for you, here are four ways to help you reassess, evaluate and make decisions about your career:
- Have you explored your thoughts and feelings with your employer?
This may seem obvious but its common to assume that changes cannot be made or that you would receive an ultimatum to leave if you broached concerns with your employer. What is often the case is that adjustments can be made whether its logistics, or projects or skill development opportunities. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
2. Ask yourself, “what is riskier making change or not making change?”
Think of risk in terms of your wellbeing, your family wellbeing, long term viability of your work commitments, financial outcomes in the long term.
3. Speak to your partner about your concerns and explore whether changes in their routine, commitments and career would help to abate the challenge you are facing. It may be that they have more flexibility to make a change or are indeed facing similar concerns but have greater or more instantly available optionality to make a change that alleviates pressure on you. You are a team.
4. Seek out professional support in a psychologist or career coach who can help you to identify optionality within your career. This may involve developing a career plan so that you can navigate short and long term priorities and actions, reskilling, gaining insight into strengths and viable interests so you can plan towards a new career.
If you need help navigating frustrations, concerns, stressors of your work situation, reach out. We can help you.