Career planning: pregnancy, maternity and children

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 - career change, career management, career planning, Employer, Employment, Legal, professionalism

Career planning: pregnancy, maternity and children


I have answered the question a number of times with female friends about Career planning, and how they should address the issues of pregnancy, maternity and children. So it seemed about time to put my thoughts into public.

Most women when asking the question are concerned more about the impact on their immediate career, and less about the pregnancy. Never have I listened to a question being asked, when the thought “how would a man answer this if he should have the ability to bare children” been more apt.

Career planning: choice

There is no simple answer to the immediacy of the career planning question, as something has to given up for something else to come into your life. Simply, there are 24hours in a day, and unless you can manage to squeeze another few in there somehow to make a 26hour or greater day, then you have to make a choice.

But, what is so wrong about making a choice? Secondly, what are you losing and what are you gaining?

Choice means change, and the reason you are probably asking the question is because you really, really, really want children. You like what you think they will bring into your life, and will add to it. And if you are really honest with yourself, you want and like children more than your current life because you think they will improve it.

So the only thing you are potentially giving up is this grand “you can have it all” vision: the career, the Porsche, the happy man and the doe eyed kids. Power to you girl, you go!

But there is a problem. The delivery of this vision requires a 26hour day, and that is not possible. Accepting a 24hour day, then the choice is as any manager will tell you: don’t do, delegate!

Simply choose the stuff you want to do more of, and the stuff you want to do less of delegate. It is proven by psychologists that women can multi-task, but why put yourself through all that stress? Set your priorities and then build a suitably skilled team to do all that you want, and then you could have much if not all that you desire. If you then have to make a choice, then you know where your priorities lie.

With modern equal opportunities employment law and a shortage of skilled key staff, managing a career and children has never been easier. If you set the right vision in knowing what makes you happy, then you can have what you want: a happy life!

Career planning: children

The reason this blog entry was prompted was through answering this question:

Elizabeth, an analysts in investment banking, asks: Do you think a woman that chooses to expand her family by having children is jeopardizing her career in the investment banking industry?

In answer:
Simply, yes. Because it is your choice to divide your time and focus some of it elsewhere, than mainly or wholly on your career.

But, on the other hand, why should you worry? If you look back at your life in 20 years time, and on the one hand have a happy family that loves you, and on the other a career which supports your family and makes you happy, what’s the problem?

Life is a choice of time usage. Choose the stuff which makes you most fulfilled, and you will have a happy life.

Outside the you, if we are going to get into the ethics of corporate policy, the actuality of maternity leave and how it affects careers, then the best advice I can give you is to speak to someone who went through your choice 12+ months ago, and see what their experience was.

Companies can’t afford to chuck away valuable trained resource, when the number of new babies being born 10+ years ago will result in staff shortages from 2013/15 onwards. Plus, as every HR person knows, mothers with children tend to stay loyal twice/three times as much as average employees. The only hassle will be childcare issues adding to any personal illness, but that can be easily handled by flexible working.

If you make the choice to have/more children, then stay in your existing “big corporate” job, and take the benefits.

Good Luck, and hope congratulations are in order soon!


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2 Responses to “Career planning: pregnancy, maternity and children”

  1. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ianrmcallister: RT @tweetmeme Career planning: pregnancy, maternity and children

  2. Quinn Says:

    One of the many issues surrounding operating mothers is that they do not know how to equilibrium their time. Mothers who demand to work or finish an approaching project often do so, but they occasionally feel guilty about gone out on quality time with their children or their attached partner. It can also be the other way round, as well. Many operating mothers are reluctant to, essentially, put their family first in certain situations, in fear of falling back their jobs. One of the many means that you can go about reconciliation a family and a career is by determining aside time for both your family and your important career. For illustration, if at all possible, you will want to try and establish hours just for work or work touched tasks. If you have to work overtime, it is advised that you do so, especially if your business may be at risk. That is ofttimes what is tricky for many mothers, when relying on their income, it can be tough to put work second.

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