I’m lucky enough to call Kristine a friend, mentor, and colleague. Only a few years my senior, Kristine has achieved so much in her career and is still very much on an upward trajectory. As a working mom, she somehow manages to be present in a high-stress, high-visibility career as well as in her three children’s busy lives. Read on for some seriously useful advice on managing parenting and a career.
Tag: Working Mom (Page 2 of 3)
When I was younger, I wanted to sell my parents on the idea of buying me a new car. I created a PowerPoint presentation, complete with financial details (cost of existing car vs. the one I wanted), vehicle comparisons (safety features, gas mileage) and an analysis of what’s in it for them (lower payments due to leasing new car and a commitment to taking over car payments after one year). Much to their dismay, I successfully convinced them and got the car I wanted. This is my MO, so after spending a few years in the real estate industry, which, like the legal field, is fraught with women at the entry level and mostly devoid of them at the top, I got to work on my pitch to start a women’s initiative within our company–PowerPoint presentation and all.
I was fortunate to meet Ria about ten years ago through family. I had an immediate girl crush on her. She’s bright, spunky, energetic, has a heart of gold, and seems to really know her way around this whole parenting thing. In a world, and particularly in a county, where we see more and more entitlement, selfishness, and meanness, she and her husband somehow are raising the most incredible, driven, gentle, loving, and respectful children. She’s a working mom with a career in a unique industry and she has a few additional years of parenting experience over me, so I was excited to pick her brain. Here’s what she had to say:
I’m an old Millenial, but I’m a Millenial nonetheless, so please spare me the eye roll when I talk about passion at work. As a rule, logic dominates my thought processes, so I never expected to find a day job that was a “dream job.” (Those expectations died with my dreams, in chronological order, of being an Olympic gymnast, an actress, and a sports broadcaster.) Still, as I’ve moved forward, backward, and sideways in my career, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that despite my general contentment in my work these days, I’m not “feeding my soul,” as one colleague put it. Determined not to be stuck in a rut, I’ve used these tactics to find passion at work even if I’m not living the dream:
Katherine (Kat) and I have been friends since the beginning of high school. This girl is gregarious, generous, kind-hearted, funny, and has an insane work ethic. A few years ago, she and her husband made the decision for him to stay home with their beautiful daughter, Riley, while she continued to work. Not only does this woman have fantastic advice as an ambitious and successful professional, but her husband, Greg, is just the coolest dad with tons of interesting experience to share, so I decided to do a joint interview to get the best of both worlds.
I’ve always been pretty outgoing. I’ve made friends relatively easily, and I have a large and diverse set of interests that makes it easy for me to connect with many different types of people. However, as a post-higher education adult, I have mentioned on many occasions how difficult it is to make new friends when you’re not forced into a college classroom, a sorority house, or a weekly Friday house party. But friendships are so essential to good mental health, so it’s important to go out there and forge new relationships. The problem with making friends as adults is that everyone’s schedules are vastly different. And when you work full-time, it’s exacerbated because you have so little free time to begin with. But it’s not impossible. I’m fortunate that my closest friends have been in my life since high school or even earlier, but I’ve made some truly awesome friendships even post-kids. Read on for a few tips for creating meaningful friendships even in the crazy life of a working parent.
Meet one of my best friends, Julie. I met her the day after I moved to Sacramento for law school. We were on our way to an overnight whitewater rafting “bonding” trip with all the new students, and she looked nice enough, so I asked her if I could sit in the empty seat on the bus next to her. We rafted, shared a tent, and got to know each other. And we basically never left each other’s side through the rest of law school. She’s brilliant, hard-working, and she’s one of those moms who always lends a nonjudgmental ear and provides just the right balance of experience-based advice. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when she agreed to let me kick off my new series of working mom interviews with her. Read on for some of that excellent experience-based advice.
Have you ever come across your dream job on LinkedIn or been chatting with an acquaintance who offers to connect you with an executive at a company you’d kill to work for only to realize you haven’t updated your resume in about five years? Trying to update a resume in a short time is a recipe for disaster. The likelihood that it will be sloppy and include typos is high, and you’re sure to forget major projects or milestones when you’re under the gun. Don’t get caught empty-handed when an opportunity arises. You should spend at least 30 minutes once per quarter updating your resume. Spend a little time on these areas to ensure you’re not missing any important pieces when the time comes to send your resume for a potential opportunity.
Any working professional, parent, or adult can tell you they have a lot going on. Life is busy and we move quickly. Working parents, in particular, are in a constant state of context switching between professional, parental, and household responsibilities, and it creates serious overload. It sure helps to have a supportive partner, but there is plenty of research that suggests women take on a lot of the “noticing” about all the little to-dos and it can be overwhelming. I tried to explain it to my husband once, and all he heard was that he’s not pulling his weight (which he is), so it was very reassuring when I came across this article a few months ago.
But what’s a working mom to do when you just can’t shut off the noise? And even if you could, what about all those to-dos that still need to be done? Below are some tips for managing (and coping) with the working mom overload.