Friends and family have asked about my plans since we announced our move a few months back. The question is, do you plan to continue working? They ask because this is our fourth move which means I usually reinvent myself. Each time we move, I generally do something new and different. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have broadened my vision in terms of the type of work that I enjoy. I’ve even added blogger to my repertoire which I never would have considered a few years ago.
Most of my close friends and family are encouraging me to take my time. They suggest getting the house and kids settled, and then worry about my next steps later. I agree but it doesn’t hurt to do a little networking. I’ve been working with a career consulting service provided through my husband’s company for spouses. We worked together to update my resumes which include two formats, one for business and the other for academia. I’m ready. But something deep down tells me that I need to slow my roll. The blessing is, that there is no rush. I don’t have to stress over work right now and I’m grateful for that.
Here’s the conflict….there is a part of me that wants to continue working. Then there is another part of me that does not want my kids getting off the bus coming home to an empty house at the ages of 15, 12, and 10. I could always hire someone but would rather not. The way the buses run my 12 year-old would get home first and she’s afraid of her own shadow. Seriously. They are not babies but I’m having a hard time letting go. For the past six years, I have picked them up from school or the bus stop. I know there are families with kids who are home alone afterschool and have done just fine. I’m just not comfortable with it yet especially being new in the area with no family. It’s perfectly normal to be concerned about my kids especially after a big move.
The movers and shakers.
The quest to reinvent myself has begun. I usually begin to visualize my next opportunity in terms of my ideal role. I write it down. My focus is finding work that I enjoy and will work best for me and my family. The role must be meaningful, flexible, part or full-time, include a work from home option, and embrace creativity. My last position as Program Director for the Read to Succeed Program met all five criteria just mentioned. I was spoiled. The fact that I managed to find a role like that says that it’s possible. Honestly, it was the most meaningful work that I’ve ever done. I went from working with graduate students to kindergarteners and loved it.
I shared my ideals with my husband and he said, “oh, well you really don’t want to work then.” “Either you do or you don’t.” He can’t relate to all the extra stuff. Is that a guy thing? I’m not mad at him because he is the guy who makes it possible for me to have choices when it comes to working.
There’s nothing wrong with identifying what I want. Why can’t we have it all or close to it?
The challenges of motherhood and career are ongoing. It doesn’t go away when your kids become tweens and teens.
If time is on your side, here are some tips to help with the job search.
Be patient – Take your time to learn the area. Network and build relationships. Create a timeline for yourself.
Create a plan – Document your plan which includes resources you will use for your job search. Create measurable tasks that will help you to execute your plan.
Be persistent – Set specific days or create a schedule for working on your job search. Looking for a job is time-consuming.
Be creative – You just might be able to create your own opportunity. Perhaps there is an untapped market in your new area that would benefit from your skills. Maybe the time has come to birth the book that you’ve been talking about for a million years.
I believe the right opportunity will come along at just the right time. I embrace change and I’m excited about what lies ahead.
How do you balance being a working mother with a career? Have you ever had to reinvent yourself?
I’d like to hear from you.
Peace and Blessings,