It’s no revelation to say that time is at a premium these days. And when you are a parent, this is even more the case. Whether we are shuttling our kids to soccer practice (or, in my case, water polo) or dropping them off at school before racing to the office, you’d be lucky to find a minute to think, let alone to ponder any kind of long-term career development. But, as Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has opined, “The days are long and the years are short.” It’s easy to look up one day and realize that you haven’t been giving appropriate focus to your professional passions and your career development.
As a mom who works outside of the home, I feel the pressure to be fully present for my family and for myself, and it’s candidly been a struggle to find the psychological and physical bandwidth to invest in my career. But it’s essential – not only am I responsible to the people I love for financial support, but I’m also responsible to myself for creating a meaningful and sustaining professional path. This is something that I work hard to keep top of mind, and I encourage other professionals, especially working moms, to do the same. There’s a tendency to reach a career point and go into “hover” mode, just trying to maintain and sustain. Ultimately, though, that means that more ambitious or focused people will pass you by. You owe it to yourself to stay focused on upward mobility and professional growth.
Different things work for different people – here’s what works for me:
1) Be clear about your objective. My goal is to continue to develop as a senior HR professional in a creative field. I enjoy leading and mentoring junior talent, and being a relevant and knowledgeable resource for the agency leaders with whom I work is my top priority. I value compassion, candor, and strategic development, and want my name to be associated with those ideals. Having those objectives firmly in mind helps me determine how to leverage my energies in the most efficient way. Be deliberate in articulating what you want.
2) Get busy networking. This has become a dreaded word for many of us – especially the ones who have time constraints. Remember that networking is not one size fits all, and make it meaningful for you. I will do the occasional industry meet-and-greet, but I’m not at my best in that environment (I’m too much of an introvert for a cocktail mixer!). For me, networking means inviting other HR leaders and creative minds to lunch, or connecting with people at a training event. I love sharing tools and tricks, and asking others for their guidance and advice. I’m fortunate enough to have built a community of like-minded people who will help me navigate tricky issues and who offer sage wisdom. Figure out how you connect best, and move accordingly.
3) Stay relevant. This is a top priority for me, and I am constantly looking for books, articles, webinars, and events that will help me grow my skillset and expose me to new ideas. As one of my colleagues says, read books by authors that you disagree with – stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone by exploring things you didn’t think you wanted to know. And make social media a priority, as well – I follow Adam Grant, Simon Sinek, and some other great thinkers and smart people on Twitter, and hearing their perspective broadens mine on a daily basis.
Sometimes getting through the day feels like an accomplishment – there are mornings when I joke with my team that they’re lucky I’m showered and wearing clean clothes! Maintaining and growing your career requires discipline and being stubbornly on your own side. Do what it takes to keep your development top of mind – whether that’s getting on a plane to attend a great training, or just waking up a half-hour early to read some thought-provoking articles. The time will pass either way, and you’ll regret not having continued to evolve your thinking and your objectives for your growth.
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I have been interviewing since April.
I am working but I am making about $15,000 less then I was.
I have been over-qualified for positions but I am not getting hired.
Now, not sure if it is my age, I am 60 but look 50. Truly do!! Been blessed.
I think I blow it in the interview. I get very nervous for some reason. I don't know what I am doing wrong! You would think after all the interviews I would feel comfortable or used to them.
Does anyone have any hints for interviewing? All of mine have been over Zoom or Teams. Thank you!
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I made a small error at work.
No harm was done. I placed a message that a patient needed blood work on the wrong chart. This was questioned by my manager. Upon reviewing the chart, I realized my error and the patient never had the blood work done.
I am concerned this could become a written warning. If it is a written warning I plan to request it be a teachable moment instead of a warning since no harm was done. Any other advice on how to handle this?
My manager who spoke to me about this issue has made two huge mistakes that I am aware of. If this becomes a written warning should I question if her errors were also written warnings?
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Can I even negotiate pay at this point?
I entered into an interview process after knowing their comp range which was below what I desired. When they asked if the salary range would work for me, I said it was below my desired range but am interested in learning more. I thought perhaps learning the total comp package would make it better but it didn't. For reference, this is a very large private university, not a small business. After learning more about the role, it's clear that the responsibilities are way higher than the title calls for (I'm very confident of this). This role title would be a "step down" for me but the responsibilities match, or perhaps exceed, my current role.
It's a new role they created and frankly, I'm not sure they know exactly what they want/need. I honestly don't know how many folks would do that job with those responsibilities for that price. It seems like an easy "PASS" and move on but I met the whole team and they are so wonderful.
Here I am at the job offer; can I even negotiate a higher salary considering they told me salary is $XYZ - $XYZ? If so... how? What the heck do I say? This people-pleasing gal is stumped.
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I am on my way into maternity leave (29 weeks) and don't want to return to my job. I want to start a new job after my leave. How common is this? Does anyone else have any experience with this?
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An employee's spouse has previously fought and kicked cancer's butt. Unfortunately, it has returned for the 3rd time. I'd love to hear some ways on how to offer support to this family through an employer, aside from a meal train. Thanks in advance!
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a relocated for a job in July, everything was going well. I started to really love my job for the first time and was going over and beyond. Covering managers shifts day and night and more.. never gotten a written up or anything. They fired me without any reasons all they said was you’re not the right fit for us we will have to part ways. I told them they had me relocate for this job and now you want to tell me I’m not the right fit.
I had to break my lease to my apartment and move with my parents. But I am so traumatized. I don’t think I ever would like to work another 9-5