As a working mum, do you ever feel like you’re in the wrong job? Or that you’ve compromised your career hopes? Do you wrack your brain, wondering if you can find a job you love that works with the needs of your family? Do you go around in circles but not find an answer? Do you start to doubt you’ll ever have work that thrills you?
If this feels like you, you’re not alone! Figuring out what to do, and planning for a working future that fulfils you can feel confusing and overwhelming. Over time, you can start to lack confidence in your ability to make positive changes. You might settle for second best.
It IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to
We’re here to tell you that it IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to. We help our clients do exactly this every day. If this is something you’d like to do, read on!
When you don’t know what to do, the trick is to step back before you step forward. To spend time really understanding who you are in this phase of life. What’s important to you right now.
When you can examine your life from a bird’s eye point of view, it’s easier to see the way forward.
It’s also important to dream about the job you’d love, and how your work and home life could look if you could wave a magic wand. It’s amazing how this process starts to build a bridge to your future. You can start to set meaningful and motivating goals. Your plan starts to form.
When you need a plan, but don’t know what to do, we recommend you start with these 4 steps.
- Identify your personal and work values. There are plenty of “values checklists” around, or you can approach us for one. For example, do you value autonomy or teamwork? Financial security or legacy? Curiosity or prudence? When your work aligns with your values, you will love your job more.
- Decide on your priorities. Which domains of your life are most important for you to focus on right now? For example, how important is your work versus time with family, being social and caring for yourself? This helps gain perspective and clues for how your work-life balance might look.
- Imagine yourself 5 years from now. What would you love to be doing or have experienced? Be creative and dream! Would you love to work for yourself? Make partner in your firm? Travel the world? You don’t have to hold yourself to it…what’s important here is that it gives our subconscious a direction in which to focus our attention.
- Start to articulate your “big picture” goals. Don’t start too specific or you’ll limit your options too early. For example, “I’d like to find work within 30 minutes commute from home” or “I’d like to find flexible work – around 20 hours per week”. From here you can start to brainstorm the various ways to reach these goals.
In place of confusion, you gain clarity, motivation and confidence
Your goals become a roadmap, helping you make decisions and take action. In place of confusion, you gain clarity. And, because you act in a direction that aligns with your values and priorities, you feel motivated and confident.
Developing your own roadmap and making changes can be hard to do on your own – lots of working mums get help with this process! We highly encourage you to break the inertia and do these steps. Make a plan, Jan! Not only will it save time and avoid making costly job mistakes….it will help you find work that you love!
About Debra and Kate
FlexCoaches Debra Close and Kate Wilkie are specialists in Positive Psychology coaching for mums. Whether you are at home raising a family, or are balancing a career with family commitments, Debra and Kate can help you to solve challenges you struggle with and answer life’s big questions.
FlexCareers offers a free 30-minute introductory meeting with our FlexCoaches, to help you establish if coaching is right for you. You can contact Debra Close and Kate Wilkie through FlexCareers here, and you can find out more about their practice, Flourishing Mothers, here.