Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What Do You Want to be when You Grow Up?

Have you always known what you wanted to be when you grew up?  

I am definitely not one of those people.  But, oh, how I have yearned to know what my "magic" job is. However, I have focused my career in the non-profit management sector for the past 14 years (wait, how did I get that old?!) - and now I am again questioning what I want to be when I “grow up.”  It's quite the ride.

As I have mentioned before, I was laid off from my job two months ago and am now in the midst of searching for that new position that feels like THE ONE. (Is there even such a thing?!)  It’s been pretty tough, but humbling and enlightening at the same time.  The last time I had to find a new job, I could check the "no kids" box, which makes it super easy to accept positions that require extra hours, long hours, long commutes, lots of travel…you get the picture.  

What’s more is that the position I just ended, although extra hours and travel were required, it allowed me to balance my career and family so well, and for that I will be forever grateful. (And, let's be honest, perhaps a little spoiled).  

Taking on something bigger now feels not so easy, even with a supportive husband. But, he too has a demanding career.  My life has changed so drastically since that last job search that what I am seeking, my goals, and my values have certainly evolved and are not the same as they used to be. To add to that pressure is an internal war waging inside me over slowing it down professionally while my kids are so young versus continuing to take on more responsibility.  That extra responsibility has a price, no?  
When "work" took on a whole new meaning
This period of time before the kids go to school is so short-lived and I do not want to regret not truly being present to enjoy it. Yet, I also crave the professional environment where I can utilize my skills, my intelligence and my education.  Finding a satisfying job with an organization that shares my values and that can fulfill the above mentioned requirements - does it exist?  I have to believe it does.  

It’s funny though, although one of the most difficult things I have ever gone through, getting laid off has brought me some unexpected pay-offs.  It has afforded me the opportunity to do significant re-evaluation and reflection regarding my priorities, professional ambitions, family goals, etc. – but more importantly, the desire to identify just what is my PASSION, which I have never adequately pursued before.  

I am already pursuing new professional endeavors that even 6 months ago, I wasn’t sure I had it in me.  There is nothing like losing a job though to force you to take big risks where in the past you might have hesitated- namely through this blog.  If there is anything I have learned in my 3+ years of parenting and working, it’s that I have learned a lot! And, I want to share my experiences so other moms like me know they are not alone.  Because, I know I have certainly felt alone in so many of these feelings and experiences.

This period of time defines transition, one that I am trying to embrace to the fullest. I can only hope that down the road when I have come out on the other side, with perspective, I can say I valued this time away from full-time employment, pursued my passions, and ultimately made the best decisions not only for myself, but for my family.    

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