A couple of years ago, my younger cousin asked me to help her decide what she should take in university and what career she should go for. I told her that I wasn't going to tell her what to do and it is really her journey to figure things out. That is part of the fun of becoming a grownup! You no longer "needed" your parents to tell you want to do! She then asked me what I wanted in a job when I entered university. I told her: "A very steady job where I sit for most of the day." Not very inspiring.
It's not to say I am not or was not ambitious at all. I graduated in record time and got a very good job at the courthouse. It wasn't even an entry position. I beat out a ton of other applicants with far more experience than me. From there I moved to a different job and continued to move up. When I was close to the end of my pregnancy, I was still busting my butt to get the promotion I wanted. (Which I got.)
After becoming a new mom and working mom, priorities changed slightly for me. When a management position came up in my organization, I didn't go for it. I told my spouse that I didn't want the position because it would mean extra stress, extra responsibilities, and less structured work hours. He agreed, this position isn't something our family need at the time.
Going to work everyday, I appreciated the (not-so) small things that might get often get overlooked. I appreciated my steady job with structured hours, increased vacation days due to my seniority with the organization, great benefits, sick days with pay, and very accommodating members of management,
I am truly content at work. For now.
At the recent performance evaluation with my manager, she asked me what my five year plan was. I gave her a very standard answer that any manager would be happy to hear. But what I really wanted to say was:
I am really happy with how things are right now. I have no plans on making moves to get a higher position in the organization. I am also not looking to go some where else for more money. I won't be making any big moves until my daughter goes to school full time and I know her needs are met. Her needs will dictate the future of my career.
Obviously, I couldn't have told her the truth because she would have thought I was a dud and written me off as an employee. But the reality is, my career path has really changed since the arrival of my daughter. The things I value relate to her in some way. I want a job that allows me to be with her as much as possible, and provides for her as much as possible. I don't think this is sad or wrong, it is just being a mom and putting your child as your number one priority.
Are you a working mom? Has your career path changed?