Is Your Career Worth It? (after you have kids)

In This Post (for working moms)

  • Have you been questioning whether or not to work? You’re not alone.
  • Have you taken the time and space to consider your options?
  • 5 Steps for working moms to answer the question: ”Is my career worth it?”
  • Summary of Next Steps

Have You Been Questioning Whether Or Not To Work?

I hear from so many other working moms, including clients, friends, and colleagues, that they’re wondering if they should continue working or not (or something else).

They tell me:

  • they no longer feel fulfilled at work, that it’s turned into a paycheck
  • they feel like 1/2 the employee and 1/2 the mom they really want to be
  • they don’t want to put as much emphasis on their careers as they did before kids
  • they want some form of balance, whatever that is, so they don’t feel like they’re completely missing out on their kid’s milestones
  • they don’t want to lose their self-identity, which to this point has been fully centered around work and their accomplishments there
  • they wonder how they would feel a sense of accomplishment and recognition if they no longer worked
  • they wonder what they would lose if they stopped working – money, network, reputation
  • they wonder what it would be like to spend more than a few hours a day and the weekends with their kids
  • they wonder if they’d be bored
  • they wonder if they’d feel financially dependent, when they’ve been independent to this point (they don’t want to ask permission to spend money)
  • they wonder if they could be more present if they weren’t working 
  • they wonder if life would be less hectic and more meaningful when they weren’t trying to juggle work, kid, and husband schedules (let alone time for themselves)
  • for those that have taken a step back after kids, they wonder when and if they should go back to work 

Have You Taken the Time and Space to Consider Your Options?

This seems like the SILENT STRUGGLE for so many working moms. 

We beat ourselves up for what we can’t do, and what we don’t want to do, what we feel we should do but aren’t.

It can be so challenging to consider the options with a clear mind when there is so much weighing us down.

So, in this blog, I want to give you the space to take a look at your career and ask if it’s worth it?

Obviously, there’s no right answer.

The answer for each person is personal and individual.

It should start from what you truly want for your life, and what you feel best aligns with your goals and values.

Take this opportunity to look at it with a fresh eye, one that isn’t clouded by what your husband things, your mom thinks, what your boss thinks, or what I think (I actually am not thinking anything for you one way or another EXCEPT that I truly hope you’ll look at this question without considering the shoulds and expectations of others).

I will give you a framework to use in this question “is my career worth it” in this post.

Step 1 – THE KEY TO ANY BIG DECISION

My coach, Brooke Castillo, recommends looking at big life decisions using this lens:

What if both options you’re considering will turn out to be wildly successful, what would you choose?

This concept replaces the normal pro/con process  and has you look at the choices without the fear, bias to a comfort zone, and need for certainty that we as humans have.

Asking the question this way lets your true desires shine through.

Here’s the exercise: brainstorm out what life will look like in 3 years if you choose to:

  1. Continue as-is
  2. Take a step back, whatever that looks like for you

Step 2 – What If You Choose To Take a Step Back From Your Career – What Would You GAIN?

Ask yourself:

  • What would I gain if I took a step back from my career?
  • What would I be able to focus on, that I’m not able to today?
  • What would I be doing?
  • How would I measure success?
  • What would my future self tell my current self about all that I’ve done, experienced, and learned from this alternate path?

Step 3 – What If You Choose To Take a Step Back From Your Career – What Could You LOSE?

Ask yourself:

  • What could I lose if I took a step back from my career? 
  • Is there a way to mitigate what you might lose?
  • What would my future self tell my current self about all that I’ve done, experienced, and learned from taking a step back form my career?
  • What is holding me back from making a change?

Step 4 – Is There Another Way To Achieve What You Want?

Have you considered other options? Or, do you think in two boxes (like I used to)- working or not working.

Could a third option work for you?

First, pinpoint what matters most to you.  Rank those things you value from 1-5.

Then, think of an alternative way, aside from your current job, that could get you what you want.

Some examples are:

  • Money = how much money do you need? Why do you need it? Could you work part-time as a consultant, a contractor, create a side-gig related to something you love
  • Self-Identity = reinvent yourself on purpose.
  • Achievement = as a high achiever, you most likely thrive on achievement. At work, you set (and/or are assigned goals) and have such a sense of pride when you achieve them. Am I right? How could you generate a feeling of achievement if you weren’t working at your current career
  • Impact = as a high achiever, you most likely value impact. If you do, think about how you could replace the opportunity to make an impact with other activities outside your career.
  • Recognition = similar to achievement, as a high achiever, you may be grounded in receiving recognition for what you accomplish. How can you replace this?
  • Network = going to work with people you respect and enjoy can make a huge difference. Do you rely on your network to fulfill that human need for connection? Is this one of the top 5 values you priorities? If so, think of other ways to build and maintain your network.

Step 5 – Revisit Frequently Without Judgement

You may decide now to stay the course. 

But that doesn’t have to be the forever decision.

You can always change your mind.

Revisit these 5 steps every 6-12 months, to make sure you’re still in alignment with your overall goals, priorities, and values.

Don’t judge yourself. There is no “right” answer. Looking back on a past decision and criticizing yourself doesn’t help.

Know that you’re doing the right thing in the moment.

You’ve got this!

Take Action

  1. Complete the 5 steps
  2. Click hereto join the conversation over at The Corporate Moms Club on Facebook
  3. Apply for your (no cost) Strategy Session with me. We’ll review your goals, dive into the obstacles that are preventing you from getting what you want, and create an Action Plan for you.

Recap

In this post for working moms, we covered:

  • Have you been questioning whether or not to work? You’re not alone.
  • Have you taken the time and space to consider your options?
  • 5 Steps for working moms to answer the question: ”Is my career worth it?”

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