There is so much pressure today for women to “have it all.” We want to have the perfect career with the perfect kids and the perfect house. Everyone we know is posting Instagram-worthy pictures showing their seemingly wonderful lives. The truth is that it’s very hard to be a working parent. You’re constantly trying to juggle your career, your role as a mom and wife, and your own self-growth and development. There is no magic formula to balancing everything. I don’t believe in the idea of “having it all” because everything you desire in life comes with a cost of time, money, and effort. Everyone has limited time and resources so it all comes down to how you slice your pie and in which area you are dedicating your energy.
Today, I am going to share a little bit about what has worked for me in terms of my career and what I wish I could have told my younger self. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I tell myself that the most successful people have made the most mistakes. If you are not making any mistakes, chances are, you haven’t challenged yourself enough. Most people learn more from their failures than their successes – so in my mind, experience is nothing more than making mistakes and learning from them.
Don’t worry about it
You are doing enough. There are so many things that we constantly worry about and get bogged down with. If you are truly working hard and smart toward your goals, then things will work out eventually. Things may not always work out the way that you had hoped or anticipated, but have faith that things happen for a reason – and if one door closes, a few more windows are opened. Easier said than done, right? By nature, I’m a control freak and it is really hard to try to stay calm during stressful situations. For me, running relieves stress, clears my mind and gets rid of my shoulder tension. I also started going to a yoga studio consistently for the past year. Doing yoga teaches me to tune out the constant chatter in my mind and focus on the present.
Be nice to everyone
Be nice to everyone, from the intern to the CEO of the company. My mom and my father-in-law are prime examples of this. They are open and social and they love talking to people. Everywhere they go, they bump into people they know and strike up conversations. Knowing lots of people and making lots of friends is not only good for your social life, but it opens a lot of doors for you in terms of professional opportunities. Have you read this article about the secrets of irresistible people? Most of the concepts focus on being genuinely interested in the other person. You already know everything about yourself, so when you meet someone for the first time, try to get to know them instead.
Get out there
Don’t go to networking events only when you need something. I see it happening all the time – new grads or job seekers show up for the first time to alumni mixers only when they need a job. I don’t really like going to big networking events and prefer having lunches with friends and colleagues because it is more personal and I can really get to know them. Call someone and offer to take them to lunch. Be genuinely interested and try to find common ground and interests. People naturally gravitate towards people who are like them.
Use your network when looking for a new job
If you have been a friendly and helpful person, you will inevitably have a substantial network of friends and acquaintances. When you are thinking about transitioning to a new job, start early. A few months before I was seriously looking for a new job, I reached out to my friends and asked if they knew of any opportunities or job openings. People may not always know of job openings, but they may be able to put you in touch with people who do.
Pay your dues
You have to pay your dues before you can land your dream job. Know your worth, but don’t be afraid to do something simply because you think you’re too good for it. For the first three years after residency, I burned the midnight oil and started my own practice and worked in a high volume, high stress corporate job. From those experiences, I learned how to manage a business from the ground up and honed my clinical skills. Companies with great jobs are looking for outstanding candidates with a breadth of experience.
Be open to new but uncertain opportunities
If you read my post on tips for accomplishing more, you would have seen one of my favorite quotes: If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. In life, you have to take a chance on something unfamiliar, something that sounds intriguing, but perhaps not exactly what you were looking for – a sort of diamond in the rough. Very few things in life will arrive on your doorstep in a neatly wrapped box with a perfect bow on top. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities and challenge yourself to try something new.
Make time for yourself
Take the time to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take care of others and be at your best when you’re a parent, a spouse, or at work. It’s not selfish to say no to others for an hour or two so that you can recharge your batteries. Take time to read, to learn, to reach out to family, friends, and mentors. Take a little time every day to breathe deeply, enjoy life, and appreciate what you have.
I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful, as they have helped me to grow in my career. What tips do you have to share?
Happy Chic Mom, a blog for moms
The post, career development and advancement for the working mom, first appeared on Happy Chic Mom.