4 Tips for Changing Your Career

There are many reasons why people find themselves looking for a new career. One common reason is mothers going back into the workplace after raising their children. Even for moms who have been out of the workforce for years, it’s never too late to reinvent your professional career. While it does take discipline, perseverance and a willingness to take a chance, here are four tips to help you change your career:

 

Believe in Yourself

Making a career change will never work unless you believe in yourself. Change is scary and it normal to worry, however, getting too caught up in what you could lose will prevent you from seeing what you can gain. Learning to believe in yourself will open up endless possibilities in your career.

 

Research Yourself and the Market

Being practical is important. When beginning a career change, be sure to self-evaluate. Make a list of your skills and competencies, values, and accomplishments. Once you’ve discovered your passion and skills, spend some time researching the types of careers that center around them. Evaluate the market you want to enter and from here, compile a list of the critical skills and competencies associated with these new career opportunities. This allows you to have a baseline for measuring your fit in the field you want to pursue.

 

Take Baby Steps

If possible, make your career changes in stages. You may need to upgrade your skills and education, and it is ok to take time to do so. If you’d like to go to back to school, it may be smarter to start by signing up for one night course. You don’t have to enroll in a full-course schedule initially. You can add more classes as your direction and motivation become clear.

 

Increase Networking

All careers benefit from networking, but it is especially crucial during a career change. Networking can be hard; it’s easier when you’re new to an industry. Networking is all about telling your story, asking questions, and getting advice. As someone who wants to change their career, your story is going to be more interesting than most and you’ll naturally have questions and require advice. Even if the people you already know are not in your new career sector, you never know who is in their network.

 

For some, the pursuit of a meaningful life includes turning a passion into work and the challenge of re-envisioning a professional career. It’s never too late to take a chance and revamp your professional life.

 

Squash Your Working Mum Guilt with These 5 Points

Squash Your Working Mom Guilt with These 5 Points

Being a working woman and a mom is never easy. Deciding to be a working woman comes clouded with guilt and with time, you begin wondering if the decision you made was practical and not selfish. Most mothers worry about missing their children’s milestones, ensuring the safety of their kids, giving food on time, or missing an emotional connection with their children.

Furthermore, working moms have to deal with long working hours, terrible bosses, and deadlines that have to be met. All these can drive you on a guilt trip. However, the good news is that you don’t have to beat yourself about it.

Here are some five points to help you squash your working mum guilt.

  1. Plan Ahead

It’s easy to wake up and get caught up in the daily routine of waking the kids up, prepping breakfast for everybody, packing lunch, and ensuring that everybody is up and ready. By the time you’re leaving the house, everything seems messy, and you can’t seem to fully concentrate at work.

The best way to prevent this stress is to plan. Ensure that everything is prepared the night before including what you intend to make for breakfast and the uniform your kids need to wear. With time, you’ll notice how positive and energized you are for the day.

  1. Take Time Out to Spend with Your Children

Life sometimes gets so busy such that we forget that children are a priority, Take an off and spend the day with your children to get rid of mommy guilt. A break will help you reconnect with your children’ personality, appetite, and daily schedules.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations

It’s practically impossible to take part in every activity your children are involved in. It’s easy to beat yourself up about things you should have done but simply didn’t have time. Nonetheless, remember that you are a human being and you can’t physically do it all. Set realistic expectations for your role and allow for real life to happen.

  1. Remember that Challenges will always be Present

When you’re debating on whether to work or stay at home with the kids, remember that every role has its challenges. Stay at home moms find it difficult to get time to rest or take a shower especially when one has toddlers. Remind yourself that every mother has her challenges and you’re doing the best you can.

  1. Avoid People Who Cause You Guilt

Relatives and friends can make your life difficult by insisting that you should be a stay at home mom. None of these people should influence your decision. Find a way to avoid these people.

As a woman, taking time out and appreciating yourself as a working mum is essential. Follow the above tips to avoid the working mum guilt.

The Benefits Working Moms are Getting From Top Employers

When it comes to supporting working parents, the United States is still falling far behind other nations. Even under new legislation, new mothers are still only entitled to less than three weeks of paid leave following delivery; as for paid paternity leave, the U.S. is the only wealthy country that doesn’t offer it at all to new fathers. At Facebook, employees are offered up to four months of paid parental leave following the birth of a child, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg made waves in 2015 when he announced he would be taking two full months of paid paternity leave, unheard of in the American work force.

From a global perspective, we’re miles behind where we ought to be; however, tech companies are now working to bridge that gap and offer more parental leave for new parents. Working Mother has recently released their 32nd-annual list of the top 100 companies with the best benefits, and the results are telling.

The support that’s being offered to working parents now extends far beyond initial post-delivery care and is helping parents, especially those in high-pressure jobs, manage both their family life and their work life. Several companies at the forefront of the top 100 are offering additional services including support for parents with autism (88% of the top 100), gradually letting new mothers phase back into work (70%), college coaching for high schoolers (63%), and even support for homework (25%).

Companies are also offering more resources to parents for childcare. 92% of the top 100 offer daycare and backup care options or compensation for them during busy times like summer and school holidays.

The most competitive companies are looking for highly skilled employees and, in order to attract them, offering great benefits that extend to not only the employee but their family as well. Subha Barry, senior vice president & managing director of Working Mother Media, discussed how delving deeper and identifying parental needs that extend beyond initial maternity/paternity leave. She notes that businesses are now acknowledging the value of employee retention and are adopting the mindset: “I will pay more, have less in my bottom line, but I will keep my employees.”

The change is also elicited, in part, by the demands of highly skilled millennials. In 2017, approximately a third of companies in the United States expanded their benefit offerings, citing the ‘war for talent’ as the primary factor, according to the 2017 Society for Human Resource Management.

Why Mothers Make Better Entrepreneurs

People often talk about how difficult it is to start and run your own business. Entrepreneurs work long, hard hours, often for little recognition. They need to be able to multi-task and juggle numerous projects at once as they build their business and help it grow. Do you know who else does all of that on a daily basis? Mothers.

Mothers make excellent entrepreneurs, and this is more than just an opinion. The Kauffman Foundation released studies that show that venture-backed businesses with a woman in charge create 12% more revenue and are more resilient to market and financial crises. The skills that are necessary in entrepreneurship are many of the same ones crucial for successfully navigating motherhood: just take a look for yourself.

Mothers know how to prioritize

When you’re trying to coordinate the educational and extracurricular calendars of three children who are all involved in different activities on top of finding time to cook, clean, and have a whole professional career to boot, you need to learn which things to prioritize and which ones can be put off until later.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Juggling responsibilities is like spinning plates; some plates, the important ones like family, health, loved ones, and self-care, are delicate and need the most attention to make sure they don’t break. Then, from there, you prioritize down and eliminate or delegate whichever tasks you won’t have time for. And speaking of delegation…

Mothers know how to delegate

Any mother will tell you that if you try taking on too much at once you’ll end up with more of a mess on your hands than when you started, which is why delegation is such a crucial skill to have in your arsenal. Things like assigning chores and having children take on some responsibility around the house can go a long way in the vein of helping you stay organized and making sure everything gets done.

Mothers know how to inspire a team and motivate others

By default, mothers are constantly in ‘sales’ mode. Whether it’s trying to convince a messy toddler that they want to take a bath or convincing your teenager that they need to go to school, you’re put in the position of salesperson quite often. When it comes time to sell your clients on signing a contract or convince them to stay with your business, you’ve already got the experience you need to help you navigate your pitch effectively.

5 Things High-Powered Women Need to Know About Work-Life Balance

You can’t be a perfectionist

There’s a lot of stress for women to have the perfect job and the perfect life. But work, and life, aren’t perfect, and imagining they could be otherwise will only make you more stressed out. If you’re in a high-powered position, you’ve probably learned the importance of not cutting corners. But know when to prioritize, and know when a project isn’t worth the extra time that perfection takes. A finished report is frequently better than a perfect, late one–and no one’s ever complained about homemade brownies that were baked from a boxed mix.

 

Turn off your phone

Keep your work and home life separate by refusing to answer phone calls from the office during your off hours. If necessary, get two phones (or, two phone numbers). Give one number out only to friends and family; give the other out only to coworkers, clients, and other people who might need to contact you for business purposes. Sync your emails, calendars, and apps accordingly. As you move between the workplace and your home life, power down whichever phone is no longer relevant.

And if you’re having a good conversation, watching a cool movie, or enjoying a walk in nature, turn off all your devices and enjoy living in the moment.

 

Exercise

Working out regularly is essential to your mental health, and a great way for you to restore your focus after a busy day at the office.If you don’t like the gym, try hiking, biking, or swimming. Boss level: work exercise into your social life. Go for a run with friends, a long walk with your partner, or a bike ride with your family.

 

Restructure your life

Sometimes your life just doesn’t seem to be working out. You seem to be losing time that you can’t afford to waste, you find yourself tired and lacking the energy to keep moving forward, you feel unmotivated at work or crabby at home. In this case, you may need to look at the structure of your life, and try to find changes that could make it easier.

Is your early-morning makeup routine just an annoying hassle? Simplify your look, and cut down the time you spend working on it. Do you hate to cook? Delegate some of the work, choose simpler recipes, or use a crockpot. Do you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media? Limit your access to those sites, and log off when you leave, so that you won’t feel tempted to quick check later.

 

Make small changes

Sometimes you have to ease your way into big changes in your life. If you never eat dinner with your family, don’t expect to immediately have family dinners every night of the week. Instead, start with just one or two days weekly and commit to those. If you don’t work out, don’t force yourself to spend hours at the gym. Instead, pick just a few days, or come up with a short exercise routine that you can do daily from your home.

How Working Moms Drive The Economy

There are many economic trends occurring. One of these trends making a great impact on the economy today is the number of women in the workforce. In fact, the percentage of women who were of working age and have full-time jobs went from 28.6 percent to 40.7 percent since 1979. With mothers, the percentage has gone from 27.3 percent to 44.1 percent. Also, women are not only working, but they are holding positions with great responsibility like CEO and other board positions. The reports where these statistics also found that had women’s involvement in the workforce stayed the same, it would have caused the economy to decrease by 11 percent which would have been about 1.7 trillion dollars lost in economic output. Due to these changes in our society, we see that working mothers are becoming a crucial piece in our economy.

 

In their own families, mothers contribute to nearly forty percent to the household’s income, and with poorer families, this number increases to eighty-six percent of the total income. This statistic can be due to women’s presence in the workforce vastly increasing as the years go by. This shows that women’s wages have been sustaining family incomes because the incomes of men have stagnated. In fact, men’s median income was seven percent lower in 2013 than it was in 1973. It seems that families are doing better when the mother is working. The median income of married-couple families where the mother is in the labor force has increased by twenty-seven percent between 1987 and 2013. When the woman was the head of the household during that same period, the median income of those families increased by about seventeen percent. The benefits this exposes is clear when comparing to the five percent decline in median income that married-couple families faced when the mother stayed at home.  

 

It is good to know that in the United States, this change is gaining more traction, especially when comparing it to a country like Japan. According to the International Monetary Fund, due to its failure to integrate women into the workforce, they have been unable to escape their economic slump. Now, there is still much work to be done. The Center for American Progress says that if more women worked, the US could be stronger. Currently, about one-third of all women and one-quarter of all mothers do not work. There are many structural reasons for this, but with all the data that shows how beneficial women in the workforce boost our economy hopefully, there is a change in this dynamic. With the implementation of a strong parental leave policy that would allow women paid time off after having children, it could influence more women to not only join the workforce but stay as well.

A Fine Tuned Work-Life Balance Helps Working Mothers Immensely

The task of raising children while also maintaining a work-life balance requires some coordination and planning. When both parents are working on building careers while also splitting parenting responsibilities, a work-life balance is incredibly important to make sure that you aren’t letting the most important plates fall while you’re busy spinning the less important ones.

Fine Tuning:

Let’s say you’re looking at your schedule for the coming week and you notice on Thursday that you have to stay late for a meeting, your one child has soccer practice, your other has piano lessons, and your partner is leaving for a business trip later that night. Are you going to just ‘wing it’ and assume that things will fall into place, or will take the time to plan out the evening so things can run smoothly?

There is always an element of fine tuning to maintain that balance between professional and domestic lifestyle; this helps to keep things from falling apart in moments when your schedules are tight and detailed planning is necessary for a smooth execution.

Plan out meals ahead of time.

Each weekend, plan out your dinners for the week and prepare anything that you can ahead of time.

Make double dinners.

If you’re cooking a recipe that can easily be frozen, reheated later, and served again, make a double batch of whatever it is and freeze half for another time. This way you get double the cooking done at once while using half the time.

Make a list and shop once a week.

A lot of time is wasted running to and from the store every time you need to grab something. Free up your schedule a bit by making a list of all of the things that you need to get at the store and do one big trip all at once to get everything. The twenty minutes here and twenty minutes there that you spend running to places adds up to time that would be better spent doing other things.

Don’t forget the ABC rule.

The ABC rule – Always Be Cleaning – can save you a LOT of time in the long run when you simply straighten up as you go. Embrace this idea wholeheartedly  and instill it in the rest of your family, teaching them to pick up after themselves so you don’t have to take a 2 hour chunk out of your day to do all of the cleaning.

Are You a Leader? Check out these 5 Must-Read Posts

Mothers who work at least part time are happier and have better health overall as compared to stay-at-home moms.

Many emerging or seasoned leader out there will tell you one thing — learning to lead will always take center stage in your journey in upper management.

But where does this learning take place? Far too often, people equate leadership development with extensive training programs, certifications, masters degrees, seminars, conferences.

While all of these opportunities offer expansive knowledge to those willing to grow, it’s also possible to refine your leadership ability everyday, in your own office.

Some of the best resources on your path to effective leadership may work right beside you! Whether they’re your supervisor or your direct subordinates, learning to listen and mirror the positive behavior around you can be the simplest and best way to slowly change your style over time.

Overtime, these resources will turn into powerful allies. The strengths they possess will become yours. Your strengths will rub off on them. By keeping a sharp eye on the positive growth and behaviors in your office, you’ll soon emulate the exact type of leader you wish to be.

Ready for more? 

While great leadership skills can be sharpened within the walls of your office, it’s always helpful to read the advice of others, who may work miles and miles away from you. Take a look at the following posts below related to leadership and positive growth. Many of the posts center on empowerment for professional females, a topic I continue to be passionate working and writing on.

TIPS FOR FEMALE EXECUTIVES

Women face a lot of pressure and obstacles in the rise to becoming an executive. Although it can be difficult to be a woman in charge, here are a few tips to help you succeed.

THE CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE IN THE WORKPLACE

Women need to be attractive, but not too attractive .. and 4 other popular challenges that make it difficult for women to work and lead.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS AS A WOMAN

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Alongside the perpetual gender wage gap, women also face difficulty advancing through businesses and climbing the corporate ladder; of the businesses on the Fortune 500 list, only 21 have females currently holding the role of CEO.

CHALLENGES OF BEING A WORKING MOM

Being a working mother can be one of the most rewarding things in the world. You get to raise kids and have a successful and meaningful career. However, nobody said that it would be easy. Being a working mom comes with challenges. Keep in mind though that for many the positives outweigh the challenges and struggles.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE

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Even with Title VII in effect for over 50 years, we still see remnants from the days of discrimination in the workplace. Issues such as the wage gap, the “glass ceiling,” and pregnancies are still factors that work to discriminate against women in the workplace.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PROFESSIONAL WOMEN OF THE PAST


 

Recruiting Men to Help Promote Gender Equality in the C-Suite

There’s great debate in the worlds of social justice and progress about finding the line between “safe spaces” and “buy in.” For women in the workplace, especially those in corporate America, C-suites, and board rooms, women want the same importance and respect have, but the question remains: Do we fight against men for it, or recruit them to help us diversify our leadership?

For many, the argument is to recruit men to join the effort to bring diversity and gender equality to the realm of upper management. From a sheer numbers perspective, a movement to include more women in the upper ranks of a company is an all-hands-on-deck effort. Most men will probably agree that running an inclusive business means ensuring an inclusive team is in charge of the company, and few if any will admit to harboring some deep aversion to having women in leadership. What these men may not know, though is how to go about improving the number of women present at the table.

If the men of your company aren’t actively helping promote gender equality, then they’re hurting the effort by enforcing the status quo. To grow the number of women who make it to the C-suite, men have to take up an active role in forwarding the agenda of gender inclusivity and equality.

A common refrain among those who claim they want gender equality is that they don’t know where to start or what to do. Where does one go to find qualified, experienced women in the field? Coco Brown, the founder of a women’s empowerment networking group called The Athena Alliance, recommends for men to start with someone the trust and to network out from there. She writes, “If a CEO knows one amazing executive woman, he has access to at least six others. We all run in like peer groups.”

Additionally, as simple as it may sound, men can practice not talking when a woman is talking. Psychological implications of socialization and imposter syndromes aside, men often physically have louder and deeper voices than women do, meaning that, as they wish, they can drown out a woman’s input with ease. For many women who are trying to contribute to their place of work, literally having their voices heard is an important step.

Tips for Female Executives

When it comes to high-level executive positions, the number of women is severely lacking. Females account for just over half of the population in the United States, but comprise only 14.6% of executives, 8.1% of the county’s top earners, and 4.6% of the CEOs on the Fortune 500 list. You might be thinking, “maybe not that many women go into business, so the numbers could be proportional. However, women hold 60% of all master’s degrees ( 44% of all master’s in business/management, and 37% of all MBAs), comprise nearly half (47%) of the labor force, and make up 59% of entry-level workers who hold degrees. So why is there such a disconnect?

Women face a lot of pressure and obstacles in the rise to becoming an executive. Although it can be difficult to be a woman in charge, here are a few tips to help you succeed.

  • Push yourself outside of your comfort level.
    • Don’t ever let anyone say that the reason you didn’t succeed is that you didn’t try hard enough. Sure, it’s nerve-wracking to ask for a raise or to inquire about a promotion, but if you don’t push yourself to become more, you’ll end up stuck where you are. The same goes for business dealings. There will be risks that come along, and if you don’t jump at the chance to better your business, you can end up falling behind. Keep challenging yourself to see how much you can truly succeed
  • Don’t let your personal life dictate your professional life (and vice versa).
    • Your position as an executive and your status as a woman, wife, or mother are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to stick to just one, and you don’t have to be defined in either capacity by your position in the other. Women may socially be expected to stay at home to raise and take care of the children, but this is 2017. If you’re a mother, you can be a breadwinner coparenting with a stay-at-home dad and you can use child care services. If you want to put your career first and don’t want to have a family, that’s perfectly fine as well. Live your life and pursue your dreams the way you want to.
  • Get comfortable with being the only woman in the room.
    • Female executives can often find themselves the only woman in a room full of men. It can be easy to let yourself become overshadowed and talked over, but you can’t let yourself get boxed out. It may take time to “prove yourself,” but the only person who can handle how you behave in the face of adversity is you. Believe in yourself, your knowledge, and your ability and unapologetically own the position that you’ve earned.