Last week the Wall Street Journal published a fascinating article around the efforts of companies, namely McKinsey, to recruit former female employees who had left the company to raise kids. The whole thing reminded me of my own career decisions and some reasoning behind working for myself that I’ve never really shared here….
I was really fortunate to have my parents around, generally all the time, while I was growing up. They both either worked from home or were only outside the home part time. We had full time nannies while we were really young, but my parents were always there (i.e. in the house), and their careers allowed them the flexibility to mold their schedules- for the most part- around ours.
There was always a part of my decision to work for myself that was connected to my life one day as a mom. I was 26 when I went out on my own, and my hope was that I’d have a solid five years or so to set the foundation for my business, and build up my client base and staff. Then, in my early thirties, when I began having children, I’d be able to create some sort of transitional schedule for myself- a combination of taking on less work during a certain period and leaning on the support of my other staff (that staff being in the future of course!). Though I do have a certain timeline in my head, it’s the structure and flexibility that are most important to me. Don’t worry, I know life can’t be planned that perfectly!
But all planning aside, I do sometimes wonder if I have it backwards. If you’re working for yourself and you’ve built your own thing, maybe it’s actually harder to step away when starting a family? Is the juggle, in fact, more difficult, because the work is that much more personal? Or is my gut feeling- that working for yourself provides more flexibility, allowing one to more easily balance career and motherhood- on track?I’d so love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and if you have it- experience!