What are your career goals, and how do you balance with personal goals?

posted 2 weeks ago in Career
Post # 2
4275 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I work in PR/Marketing.

Earlier in my career when I was younger, I worked for an entertainment agency, then company. There were a lot of shows and after parties and media events. It was fun, I lived in a big city with my then-FI (now husband), and we were poor kids starting out, but got to see amazing shows etc for free. As I got older I started to hate the evenings and weekends, and moved into a more corporate gig, with a good pension, benefits etc.

I’ve since worked in finance, insurance and now work for a NPO in the hospital. I have a lot more flexibility now, which I appreciate with two kids. I do struggle because I’m at a place where my next move will have to be a lateral one, and I’m just not sure with my kids being so young (4 and 2) that I want to move up just yet. I like being able to leave at 3:30 and not work on weekends, and know I won’t miss school plays or soccer games. My priorities are different, and not because I feel like they SHOULD but because I just genuinely don’t care as much about my career as I did before. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy what I do, and it’s rewarding, but my job is still just how I pay my bills, and not my entire identity.

Post # 3
54 posts
Worker bee

When I was in university and grad school, I had a very specific career I wanted. Then I started to doubt that’s what I wanted. At the same time, I immigrated to another country and couldn’t work for a few years while my application was processed. By the time I was able to work, I was lost in terms of what I wanted to do and what was realistic. In the meantime, my partner’s career took off, kind of locking us in place unless we wanted to emigrate again.

All of this was extremely hard to deal with emotionally. Education and career had been so incredibly important, and suddenly they weren’t. I felt useless. I tried a few different jobs, went to artist residencies, did freelance stuff. Ultimately, I decided to freelance part-time and devote most of my time to other things I love. Usually, I am very happy like this. But I sometimes wish I had pursued what I had originally intended.

Also, this arrangement only works because my relationship is close and strong and money has never been an issue for us. My husband is totally supportive of whatever I want to do, but I sometimes really hate being so dependent on him financially. It is a very vulnerable place to be and can so easily end in disaster. It’s not something I would suggest in most relationships, especially if you are young or if the relationship is quite new.

It also works because my husband makes a very good income. If we had less, I would absolutely work more to give us more security. 

Post # 4
1396 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

This is a great topic! 

My husband and I both work in higher education (specifically a large state university), in different areas (I work in academic affairs as professional staff, he works as an assistant professor in a sort of non-traditional area…won’t get much more specific, because his world is a small one!). We’re both “work to live” people, but me much moreso than him, because he enjoys what he does and I sort of hate it. 

I’m not really sure what my longer term goals are. I’d love to shift to a different field (I’ve bounced around the idea of getting my MPH or nursing degree), but higher ed absolutely ruins you. We get 5.5 weeks of vacation, 2.5 weeks of sick leave, and about 20 days of holiday (spring break, winter break, thanksgiving, etc) each year, so how the hell do you transition into the private sector after being that spoiled? The downside, of course, is that the pay sucks. 

As for my husband, his plan is to work on his phd while getting vested in the state retirement system, which he will be in 2 years and 10 months (not that we’re counting). Once we get about 6 months out from that, he’ll start job hunting so we can get to a better location (local schools are terrible and the weather sucks).

In the meantime, I’ll probably start seriously considering my options, possibly start nursing school, so that I’m in a good position to make a transition at that time. I won’t leave my job in that time frame unless something truly incredible came up, since my job is cushy. 

Post # 5
77 posts
Worker bee

Maybe I’m just in the throes of a rollercoaster of a Monday, but I am already looking towards retirement.  I was a hard charger in my 20s and into my 30s but now that I’m on the upper end of my 30s, professional achievement isn’t as important to me as having a good work life balance.  I’m not nearly as success oriented as I was even 5 years ago at least in terms of my career.   Or maybe I’m just a burnt out lawyer!

Post # 6
36 posts
  • Wedding: June 2019

I’m in my mid-30s no kids yet but desperately wanting a baby.  I’m still very career oriented but not delusional that it will have to change.  I’m currently working on my PhD while working a full time director level corporate role.  But my job also respects my weekends and evenings which is nice (however only so I can get my PhD).


I would like to make it to the c-suite and I’m a little closer to getting there than my husband.  He is so supportive and says if I get there first he’ll step back from his career to help raise our future kids and I will do the same if he gets there before me.  He ironically works way more hours than I do, but I have been with my company for a while and have built up enough good will to sign off at 4 everyday lol.

Idk it’s a difficult balance but having a supportive spouse helps.  It also helps that I genuinely enjoy the work I do, although it’s challenging because of the work environment at times.

Post # 7
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I’m a teacher and always saw it as my calling. I did better than a lot of teachers I know as far as work/life balance but my students were always on my mind and I often worked after hours or bent over backwards for the families of my kids.

I had my first baby a year ago and have been a Stay-At-Home Mom since – not by choice. We planned to move a few months after we had the baby so it didn’t make sense to go back to my old job after my maternity leave ended as I wouldn’t be able to finish the school year anyway. I had planned to be back at work in our new city by now, but with COVID we decided to play it safe rather than risk exposure through my job or putting our bub in daycare (we live with my parents at the moment and my mother is high risk).

I am not cut out in any way to be a stay at home mom. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I am DYING to get back to work. However, I don’t know if I have the emotional capacity to dedicate myself to my students the way I used to. It’s something I’m losing a lot of sleep over these days. I always loved to work, but I think starting a family of my own has moved me closer to the work to live camp.

Post # 8
1069 posts
Bumble bee

ooo I love talking about career passions. I have a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in Spanish and a Bachelor of Arts in community health with a minor in business. I am currently doing a dual degree program MD/ MPH ( medical school and masters of public health).

When I graduate I plan to do an internal medicine residency with a cardiology fellowship and then an interventional cardiology sub specialty. With hopes of working only part time so I can do a lot more in community health maybe open a non profit clinic and go on medical missions trips. 
My husband and I have two small kids and it’s definitely hard, sometimes I have mommy guilt and gets  but I have so much support from my  husband. I love that he loves my ambition . We make a great team. 

My husband has his own passions in Mechanical engineering and music I respect and adore his hustle and being a great dad. 

Good luck with your studies and career! 

Post # 9
776 posts
Busy bee

I recently did a career change into a more finance-based field and am really enjoying it. Also working on my masters in that field. 

It’s very taxing and I have zero free time. Work full time during the week (plus a freelance side job) and have to study and do classes after work, then I have tons of tests and assignments due on weekends so I spend every weekend doing that as well. I definitely don’t have any kind of work-life balance and sometimes I push myself beyond my physical limits. 

In saying that though, I see that as just being the next few years. Not forever. My goal is to eventually finish the master’s and maybe find an even better paying job than I have now, and finally get to enjoy my weekends. 

Post # 10
884 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Definitely on the work to live side. I don’t enjoy my job, and have found it boring for years. The people are nice, and it’s undemanding, and I am fortunate to be in a financial situation (since before I was married) that means I can afford to work part time. I therefore have a ton of annual leave, and an all consuming hobby which is my passion and I can dedicate myself too.

I do sometimes wish I felt passionate about my job but for me, it allows me to live the lifestyle I want. I can imagine a career change one day. 

Post # 12
4020 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

After I graduated with my B.A. in English I immediately started teaching high school English. I took a semester to get adjusted before starting my M.Ed program. My husband and I were only dating at this point, and I was adament that I’d finish that before getting married. We got engaged 1-2 months before I graduated and got married 6 months after I graduated. After that I spent 3-4 years working to be a better teacher and color guard instructor for my school’s band. My husband and I also travelled yearly and enjoyed getting into our newlywed groove. In 2017 I started the process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, and I successfully completed that in 2018.

My husband and I continue to travel and we are now working on the early stages of custom building a new home. I don’t know what my next career move is. I enjoy teaching, but I’m not sure I see myself doing it 20+ more years. I really like curriculum development, so I will likely try to get into that at some point. I’m not sure if that means another degree (not really required, but it would be helpful). I think now I need to focus on more individual personal, non career goals because I’m bad about letting slip to the side.

Post # 12
1354 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m finding that my approach to my career evolves as I go through different stages of life. mid-20’s it was all about travel, exposure, and path-searching. late 20’s / early-30s it was skill development, ladder climbing, and really investing myself in advancement. Now in my mid-30s with a kid and more planned to come along – I just don’t care as much about career advancement.

I’m not cut out to be a Stay-At-Home Mom and very much crave the structure, mental stimulation, and socialization that a career job provides. It’s tough because I want a stimulating and fast pace job but one that is sustainable work-life balance and flexible to accommodate young family demands. It’s proving difficult to find!

So I’d say I’m in the midst of a shift from ambitious “live to work” to work-life balance focused “work to live”. My biggest priority is that I don’t make decisions now that compromise my ability to return to a faster paced career path once family life allows (e.g. school-aged children / empty-nester).

Post # 13
3350 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I would consider myself to be both very career oriented and very family oriented. I have wanted to be a clinical psychologist literally since my late childhood. I am currently starting my 9th year of university, I have a BA, MA and MSc and now am working towards my PhD. I also married the love of my life at age 24, we are expecting our first child in December, and I’m taking a years maternity leave. I absolutely love the field I’m in and am also on track to make a good salary. 

So I am definitely working towards having it all! 

Post # 14
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Oof, I feel like I’ve pushed myself so hard to get to where I am. It’s been a long game of being more specific. I wanted a direct path; originally, my intent was to become a physical therapist. But while in school, I realized the PT’s I knew (separate from school) were hella burnt out (because so many people who go to PT aren’t there by choice, and way too many are doing it as a step to get a prescription approved) and they were only half equipped imo.

I wanted to know way more. So I went the neuromuscular route with my education. I began teaching anatomy and neurophys courses shortly after graduation as my side hustle. But then I realized I loved teaching, specifically the very first course, medical terms (aka the snooze fest course no one wants to take).

 While teaching, I began working in a regenerative medicine clinic. It helped me see another perspective of the body and pain. Specifically, that people go years, even decades, without treatment for pain because they simply don’t know: what’s in their capacity to change (aka daily habits), how small habits snowball (sleep positions, ergonomics, gait), or how to recognize that your “normal” (ankles popping/cracking as you walk down stairs) is not healthy/should be addressed.

 I’m finally in a position, now, where I can teach an employee population how to take care of themselves. So, to be more specific, I teach a population similar to my (former) brand new students. That’s what I actually liked about teaching that boring course–I liked how helpful I could be to people who knew nothing about a subject matter (now ergonomics). And, I can teach people in a format where they can just absorb information without being distracted by the stress that they will be tested on it. It was a total shock my first year of teaching, how many adults cry from the stress of a 10 point quiz. 

I’ve long held the belief that if companies appreciated the toll a job takes on desk jockeys (in the same way we  recognize pro athletes use their bodies to do their job), the workforce would be a better place. 

From here, I want to grow my internal program to a full out executive level position. I plan on spending my next 30 years doing so. I don’t plan on having children because that amount of love for another person would erode my sanity. I honestly don’t know how moms’ function. I’ll keep having dogs (and stress cry like a weirdo anytime I leave them for a few hours) instead.

Post # 15
51 posts
Worker bee

I was a Stay-At-Home Mom for 15 years; being a mother and wife was all I ever wanted. But, then the kids hit high school and I became kind of obsolete (in a good way, such is life), so I got a job that has turned into a career. I would not say I’m apassionate about it, though. It helps us have a great life with lots of travel/adventure and my husband will retire at 53, me at 51. That is what drives me.

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