Conflicted about career change

posted 2 weeks ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
394 posts
Helper bee

No advice, just wanted to say I’m right there with you. I have one young child, and shortly before I had her, I took a step back from my career, giving up a fairly prestigious position for a very low stress, non-glamorous job that gives me lots of flexibility (great for where I’m at in life now with a small child), but isn’t too fulfilling. I used to feel proud when people would ask me what I did for work, and now I feel embarrassed, like I have to make self-deprecating jokes about it. I hate that! But also…I have no desire to get back into the rat race, so I’m not sure where that leaves me….

My husband recently encouraged me to sign up for a creative writing class, so I did that. It starts soon…I’m hoping it will give me some of the fulfillment that’s been missing from my professional life. I dunno though. Anyway…you aren’t alone!

Post # 4
Member
1290 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

greensea : I would use these coming 4 months before baby arrives to really ramp up networking. Now is actually the prefect time to do it because you’re NOT looking to switch jobs imminently – you’re just looking to connect with individuals in industires/companies of interest for you. Set up coffee chats, attend events, meet with recruiters — start building that network aggressively NOW while you have the work life balance and no child demanding your time and attention. 

I think if you can switch into an industry role that both gives you work life balance and lets you feel like you’re in a role you can be proud of, then that’s the win-win outcome. They are out there, but they are hard to find because people dont want to give them up!

I’m very close to the point of leaving my ‘prestigious’ job to get out of the rat race and have the work-life balance that is a priority for me if I’m going to be the type of parent (and spouse) I want to be.

Everything your describing is exactly my fear and concern. I’v always been too “status focused” – priding myself on going to well reputed schools, demanding programs, top firms. I’ve sacrificed sleep, hobbies, social life, etc to get where I am today. And now I’m walking away from it all.

 

It’s terrifying but I keep reminding myself that status hasn’t brought my joy, but my hobbies (when I can do them on the weekends), my husband, and now my child will — so they need to be prioritized in my life. 

I’m also working hard to find roles that have more flexibility and work-life balance while still being interesting work. I’m biding my time until the right opportunity presents itself to jump ship. 

 

Post # 5
Member
9202 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

it’s a hard balance.  someone recommended the book “lean in” to me. but i haven’t had a chance to read it.  i am the mother of a 3 and almost 3 year old.  also met my husband at 30, got married at 32, then struggled to conceive for another 2 years, when through ivf to have both my children at 34 then 36.

while i have always worked full time, i was not in a position of power previous to children. regular work hours and left work at work.  i wanted career advancement, but wanted a happier non-stressful work life balance with kids.  that being said, i have been trying to get into this women’s leadership cohort for a few years but the timing never worked out with maternity leave for my children.  this year everything fell into place.  i applied, got accepted.  i attended the first 3 of 8 days over a 6 month time period.  i came to to hear there was a restructuring, applied for a supervisor position, and got it.

i’ve told my husband, this year is my year.  i just finished nursing (my 22 month old). i working on myself professionally and personally.

so i’d say, dedicate those beginning years to your children, find a happy work life balance.  then decide what track you want to be on.

Post # 8
Member
278 posts
Helper bee

I share this sentiment. The following comment really resonated with me: “I admit I do miss the ‘status’ sometimes… I feel so down about my entire professional future, which basically consumed my life for many years.”

In my case, I worked in the most competitive department at the top firm in my industry globally and left due to personal circumstances. I then returned to studies at a very good university, which however is not nearly as prestigious as where I completed previous studies (going back to a similar tier would mean living away from my husband, which I was not prepared to do).

Some things that help me are to try and stay in the moment and appreciate all of the joy I have in my life that I previously did not. I also now have the time to pursue hobbies, which were out of the question before. In my case, I write – and I’ve been able to publish a few pieces. Even though it’s not the same as accomplishing things professionally, it does bring satisfaction. I also volunteer on issues that I’m passionate about. I won’t lie – sometimes I feel pangs when I see my classmates’/colleagues’ updates – but I can see that I am happy now. People have commented on the difference. 

Post # 9
Member
13678 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

On the flip side – I’m in one of those “status” jobs for my industry, and I am absolutely dreading coming back after maternity leave (13 weeks preggo now). While the company touts work-life balance, something always has to give, and I’m afraid that it will be my family. 

Your plan of networking/volunteering/freelancing sounds awesome. As long as you are happy and fulfilled, that’s what matters, not the status. 

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