In this episode of the Joy in Chaos Podcast, we discuss five simple ways working moms press pause on her successful career and pivot to a new purpose for a time.
Giving working moms permission for a time to pivot from the trajectory they envisioned in their 5-year plan, to submit to a new strategy for their life, can be one of the hardest decisions they can make.
It can also turn out to be one of the most rewarding and surprisingly beneficial moves of her career so far.
Many women find when they hit the brakes on their successful careers to give time to a situation at home that needed them, a new plan can unfold. Taking that woman on a trajectory she never intended but that is massively rewarding.
Countless women switch careers because of a change in her family dynamic and this change has led them to places they never imagined they would go. Often better suited to their gifting and rewarding for the whole family.
But how does she get there? How does she release a career that she prepared her entire life for? Can she trust herself to make a shift into something new?
How do you know when it’s time to give yourself permission to pivot for a time from the trajectory you envisioned in your 5-year plan to submit to a new plan for your life?
Come have a listen to the podcast version of this post:
1. Come to terms with the trades needed as working moms press pause on their careers.
When a working career woman has a big life choice to make it can be an excruciating decision to make that change be her career path.
If you are successful in your career and enjoy the work, it is all the harder to consider a change.
It goes back to the pros and cons. Are the trades worth it? Can you still make it work?
Is the travel involved taxing on a postpartum body? Or on your mommy guilt?
Are the hours not conducive to family balance for all involved?
Can you feel yourself growing miserable at work because you want to be with your child while they are tiny and vulnerable?
Are there existing medical conditions involving you or your child that make it important for you to consider pressing pause on your existing career?
What reasons do you have for staying in your career at this time?
Weigh all the options and see if there is anything tipping the scales.
2. Accept that we are not entirely in control of our life paths and that’s okay.
This is the hardest part of all this.
We think we are masters of our own destiny.
We think that we create a 5, 10, 15-year plan for our lives and that we get to walk that out without interruption.
Life has a way of tossing things up.
When that thing is your career that you studied, prepared, clawed your way towards, and work your butt off, it’s not so easy to let go.
One of the biggest considerations we don’t always want to admit is this:
How is pressing pause on my career going to impact my identity?
Are you tied to your title? I was an engineer. An environmental engineer. I was very proud of this title. I studied and worked hard for it.
But truth is, I was always better at writing than I was at drafting engineering plans for wastewater facilities. Or better stated, I enjoyed writing more.
I persevered in my career path and education because I thought I was supposed to. People I loved and respected were expecting me to finish. I was too far in. But my full heart was not really in it.
That should have been my clue all those years ago that something better was going to line up for me.
3. Release, Release, Release. There is often a greater purpose for our lives that we do not see. This is okay too.
When I allowed my brain to release the idea that my worth was tied to my title, I was able to let it go.
When we adopt flexibility into our life plan, we can allow room for God to steer us in the direction He intended all along.
See here, all our experiences are not wasted. They build up our character and prepare us for the next life task ahead.
Accepting a release of control does not mean failure. Your experience of life can be used to a new purpose you never imagined even for yourself.
4. Hold your life path with an open hand, not with a fist.
A working mom’s career can feel to her like something she needs to grasp on tightly.
Almost as if she lets it go for a while, she will lose her opportunity for greatness later. I am here to tell you that it is simply not true.
Holding on to your current career tightly fisted means you are not allowing the universe to place a better opportunity right into the palm of your hand.
Release to get the goodies. Sometimes, when working moms press pause on her career, she wins the real prize.
Remember the story of the monkey who grabbed a coin from the bottom of a tall vase? Since his hand was so tightly fisted around that coin, he could not get his hand out of the opening of the vase. He kept pounding it up against the opening. Trying to get free.
Don’t be like the monkey. Don’t get stuck. Release the coin and be free.
5. You may need to work, learn, discover, and start over in an entirely new direction or career.
That can, in many ways, be a lovely gift.
Imagine instead that you released what you “thought” you were supposed to be doing for a short time to sacrifice for your family’s short term needs.
You might be blessed enough to discover a new passion that takes hold of your many talents, gifts, and experience.
Imagine if you had never allowed that opportunity to unfold?
And NOBODY ever said you could not go back to doing what you do best! Your talents and work experience are still yours. They are not yanked away when you pause to care for your family for a time.
Ignore the naysayers that squelch the desires of mothers who dream of returning to the field she once thrived in. Get back in the field. Your newfound managerial experience wrangling unruly tots DEFINITELY counts for something.
When you have a chance, try the exercises in Emma Lee Bates’ article:
The simple 4 question brainstorming session could help you work out what is your next best step and what would be a great business to break into.
Lastly, For a good deep dive book on the subject, check out this one on Amazon by Lisen Stromberg called Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career
Be brave, be open to change, take a chance, be excited about a new life path.
You never know what is ahead.
We are with you in spirit every step of the way.
Best of luck sister, we want to walk with you on this journey.
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Until next time,
P.S. For other great listens on our Joy in Chaos Podcast turn to:
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Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.