9 Ways a Working Mom Can Advance Her Career
At one point during working motherhood, you may have scaled back on your hours or maybe your effort so that you could manage motherhood and work. If the time has come to ramp back up try following these nine tips to advance your career.
Stretch a bit, it feels good! Unlike our children, who crave a schedule and familiarity, our career gives us the chance to spice things up a bit.
You have the opportunity to be audacious and then to expect the unexpected. When you act in this type of demeanor, things will pop. It feels good when we capture opportunities and grow. To prepare for the results, give your support team a heads-up that exciting things are going to happen for you professionally (and then hopefully personally).
Work on the Bigger Picture, Not on Just the “Right Now”
When you hear management talk about the company’s big picture, spend time brainstorming where you’ll fit in. Decide what big projects you could work on that would help build this big picture and make this a new intention. Envision what you’d be thinking or feeling while working on this intention.
This gives you a break from what is going on right now and gives you a new perspective on your career. Worry about how you’ll spin it to your manager later and let yourself be creative.
Outsource What You Can Now
We can’t do it all by ourselves. Compare your big picture intention with what's on your plate now. What will have to come off your plate both at work and at home and why?
Stretching yourself for a big intention not only takes more hours at work or thinking about work, but it also takes up mommy energy that you’ll need for the home front. Some things will have to give so that you are happy with the stretch intention.
Be an Optimist
With change comes worry and perhaps negative self-talk. When these types of emotions are felt, focus on the positive. Why are you stretching yourself? How will you feel when you reach this goal? What motivation could you depend on to keep you going?
Part of the reason you enjoy your working mom role is because you are setting an example for your children. Showing them how you stay happy while working hard is great motivation.
Bring Your Whole Self and Mommy Energy to the Office
Apply what you have learned from being a parent thus far into the workplace. Many parental lessons apply to leadership dilemmas. Trust your mother’s intuition when you feel that the way you could solve a problem at home is the same as how you’d solve a problem at work, and vice versa. Also, when you use your mommy energy at work, it’s fueled by the love you have for your family.
Another part of the reason you enjoy your working mom role is because you are providing for your family. Don’t leave family life at home; it’s a part of you and it can work in your favor.
Share a Story About Your Passions
Making your passions known with a good story helps people remember you when it comes time to assign projects. Put into words why you chose your field. What kind of projects do you excel in and why? What are your strengths and how do you use them to fulfill your passions?
Once you’ve crafted this story, be sure to share it proudly and passionately.
Know the Challenges of Your Career
Write down the top 10 career challenges you’ve faced. Why did you go for it? Did you succeed or fail? What lesson did you learn from it? If you succeeded, what experience did you earn? If you failed, treat it like a lesson, not a letdown. What was the lesson?
You need to be clear about where you’ve been so you know where you’re headed.
Know Your Boundaries
Looking closely at your challenges, what boundaries did you set to be sure you were successful? Boundaries are rules you set for yourself and others to follow that help you work more efficiently or feel happier.
Without boundaries, we risk unhappiness and exhaustion. Setting boundaries is a sure way of protecting your mommy energy.
Introduce Yourself Like a Pro
Keep your elevator pitch short and tight. If someone asks you what you’re about, don’t answer it with a question, give them your passionate introduction. Thirty seconds is all you’re going to get, so memorize your intro and believe in it. Make it so good that you want to share it enthusiastically with anyone you bump into.