Do you have a job or a career? How highly is it prioritized in your life? It is great to evaluate these things as we approach the midpoint of the year, explains Ghislaine Entwisle.
Every year, I have multiple conversations with women and when we talk about employment, I often hear the following:
“I don’t really have much time to invest in a career so I’ve taken a lower-skilled job.”
“I know I work five days and get paid four days but the job is close to home.”
“I don’t have time for a career — my husband has a career, I have a job.”
Is this you?
When I delve into these comments with these women, I tend to hear responses around the associated importance they place on their highest priorities being their partner, their kids, their household responsibilities. Time is limited and life is increasingly busy, but I can’t help but recommend that more women take a step back and consider their career in equal measure to their other priorities.
As children grow and rely less on their parents, I believe that the importance of placing reasonable priority on each parent’s career is key to their well-being — not only financial well-being but social, mental, and emotional well-being.
So here are my top four questions to reflect on and discuss with your loved ones at any time of the year, but especially now:
1. What does your workplace culture currently look like?
Is your current work environment one that enables you to be your best self?
Is the culture one that fosters a sense of belonging?
If you feel anxious about your workplace, share your feelings with your manager so that they can help create a more inclusive environment.
2. What do your career growth opportunities look like?
Do you feel positive about your job/career direction and connected to its purpose?
Do you engage in goal-setting sessions?
If you feel that you could do more in terms of professional development and career progression, this may be a good time to speak with your manager and set the wheels in motion.
3. Are you striving for work-life integration?
Is there room in your life for job/career aspirations?
How can you integrate your at-home commitments and your work schedule to allow for this?
If you feel overwhelmed by life, but empty about your own sense of fulfillment, this too should be considered.
4. Does your current compensation align with your financial goals?
Do your research and stay informed about the industry rate for someone with your experience and skillset. This will help have productive pay review conversations.
Once you have answered these questions honestly and openly, share them with your loved ones and discuss your priorities. Pausing and reflecting is a good way to get off the treadmill that is life and take time to work out what is important and what (if anything) needs to be de-prioritized to allow for it.
Here’s to a happier and more fulfilling second half of the year!
Written by Ghislaine Entwisle, director in a global management consulting company and passionate advocate for women in the workforce. Ghislaine is also a supporter of women struggling with homelessness, domestic violence, and poverty in raising kids. She is involved in a social enterprise to improve executive-level involvement of culturally diverse women and is actively involved in technology and female networks in Melbourne, Australia.