If you knew you were going to live to be a hundred, how would it affect your career?
Women who decide to become mothers, usually place the family as the priority in their lives and that is why it is not uncommon to experiencing significant career interruptions in order to attend to their families’ needs. After becoming mothers, women are more likely to switch to a job with greater flexibility and tend work more from home. This often forces women to abandon their profession, perform less qualified work which can result in lower pay.
The good news is: most of us have an opportunity that previous generations never had. We have a “longevity bonus” of years! If we are in good health, we can redefine ourselves in ways that would have not been thought to be possible a few years ago.
Building and consolidating a career can take years and requires planning and hard work. Probably in this current phase of your life, your family routine is probably calmer, even if you still dedicate some time to most of the household responsibilities. So, spare some time to evaluate your career in terms of the future. You won a longevity bonus and choosing something fulfills you will surely make your life lighter and more pleasant.
If you are happy and want to continue in the same path for another 30 years, that´s great! Use your free time to do things that feed your soul. Otherwise, start thinking and researching areas that interest you. Our bff Google can make a valuable contribution!
If you are willing to do a self-analysis and combine it with the views that others have about you, the result can be quite interesting and serve as a starting point for defining a new professional career path. My suggestion is: start by listing your talents, competencies, knowledge, skills and passions (what brings a sparkle to your eyes, what makes your heart flutter) and ask family, friends and colleagues (and/or ex colleagues) to do the same. It´s interesting and helpful to know how people perceive us, so that we don't have a distortion of our image. Once you have gathered all the information, organize it on a spreadsheet to make it easier to read. You may be surprised at the result!
If you’ve discovered points you to a totally new path however challenging it may be, if you are enchanted, don't be intimidated. Go for it! Try to learn more about it. You will have a long way to go before making a decision and making a transition. This may be your first step. And remember: we are adaptable beings and we have the ability to learn anything if we are willing to!
There is a very interesting Ted Talk about the fast learning process called The first 20 hours by Josh Kaufman. It´s worth watching.
If you want to go a little deeper, you can read the book The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!
This is easy to talk about in theory ... but that's exactly what I did before I got here. I am 48 years old, my children are in university, my husband works in a multinational company (which implies possible changes again). For the past 12 months I applied for several positions in different companies and, despite my background, nothing came to fruition. So, as the master of my fate, I decided to change the game and become the active agent of my career. And you can do the same for yourself! You are able to rebuild your success and eventually start your own business, prioritizing what is more important for you. The process was really enriching for me and I can assure you that it will be for you too!
Credit Image: Igor Link from Pixabay