Authored by: Talyn Guercio, WILL Editorial Committee
Growing up, no matter my age, I always knew that I wanted to be a working professional. I don’t make that statement in the context of a feminist or an individual who needs to “prove” their self-worth. My conviction is based on an inherent attitude and mindset that makes me no better or worse than any other woman by comparison. What I always viewed as necessary though was having an identity independent to that of my husband’s- one based on my own talents and abilities. I realized that from the very beginning of my career that having this identity was paramount to any other aspect of my professional life.
I understand the aforementioned revelation well. It is no surprise to me though that I get asked frequently by friends, peers, and industry colleagues why I choose to work. The question always seems foreign to me, but once that concept is processed and understood, I’m further asked to explain how I manage my professional life and my personal life. To be clear, I do choose to work. The second part is less explanatory as managing my career and home life is much more complicated. That said, the most important statement I can make is that it is not only possible, it is completely worthwhile. To respond to the question of skeptics, the answer is clear- to succeed, you must get out of your own way.
I’ve learned a great deal from my own experience. Unfortunately, when I began my career, there was no “how to guide” illustrating steps I could take to be a mother and a successful working woman. Thankfully, I’ve compiled the following lessons with several associated questions:
- Set A Goal- Do you want to have a high-powered career but still be present for your family? Do you have financial goals based on time lines? Do you want to own your own business?
- Make A Plan- Establish a realistic timeline. Is the answer to an above question possible in six months or twelve months? Could it take a year or maybe two? Be honest with yourself and don’t be afraid to adjust your timeline if necessary.
- Be Creative- Separate work hours from non-work hours. If it’s in your budget, hire an assistant. Delegate tasks when appropriate and prioritize tasks.
- Execute- Be diligent and focused and endure when things get hard (because they will). Be confident in your own knowledge base and abilities. Most importantly, remember that situations are what you make of them and you will succeed if you are determined to.
It is important to remember that these lessons have personally worked for me and are meant to be used as a roadmap for your own guidance. Figuring out how to master the balance can be difficult. There are though techniques and trial and error methods that can be used to make the situation easier. In my case, I have learned that it’s not only possible to have a corporate position while maintaining a family, it is quite rewarding.