Day Job to Dream Job
Would you jump at the chance to leave a paycheck in favor of a dream job?
Of course, you would. Who wouldn’t?
Much has been written over the past 5 years about women in the workplace, their outlook on jobs, careers, and happiness.
A lot of attention is given to Stay at Home Moms, or SAHM”s.
I’m sure this applies to many of you as educated women who were engaged in fast paced careers prior to having children then opting out of a job to be at home with the kids.
Many women choosing to stay at home do so with no regrets, even though there are risks involved like possibly losing financial independence, a divorce, or difficulty re-entering the job market after a long stay at home.
Still, being true to a mother’s natural instinct to nurture, prioritizing children and loved ones over a demanding career despite some of the downside, is the prevailing sentiment of many women.
Staying at home does not mean you’re required to drop anchor and stay put in the doldrums.
Increasing numbers of SAHM’s are discovering ways to blend work and personal life.
In plain English, this means providing for their families but in redefined professional endeavors.
Many women are realizing that by going into business they can be happy at work and gain freedom by managing their own time.
There are real benefits such as gaining more financial independence, restoring a sense of individual identity, and, when chosen carefully, the ability to free up the time to be with the kids.
Beside SAHM’s there are women at various stages of their working lives whose issues deserve attention as well.
If we think of SAHM’s as being the middle of a broad spectrum of women in the workplace, there are dynamics in play at either end of the spectrum which carry significant weight as well.
There have been a number of articles in Forbes and other publications detailing the plight of female Millennials, the generation a few years removed from college but not quite 30 something.
These are bright, highly motivated and career oriented women who are evidently experiencing very early in life what previous generations encountered much later–career burnout.
Larissa Faw, a contributor at Forbes, has written extensively about these ambitious young professionals with demanding jobs, high incomes, and exciting lifestyles.
So what are the reasons for these young go-getters flaming out?
An obvious reason for their discouragement is that by disproportionate numbers to men, young women are stagnating in entry-level corporate positions.
After incessant striving and overachieving from grade school through college, millennial women can find themselves starting over, at the bottom of the corporate ladder, still yet having to strive in order to move up.
After bearing down all their lives to reach this point, they expected better once they hit the corporate battlefield, or at least a clear, more visible path forward.
In the corporate world, where no loyalties exist, a young person cannot see but a couple of years in front of them, let alone plot their career.
These women want to be able to see ten years ahead but that’s not the way it works now.
It’s no wonder they are frustrated and disappointed. That’s not the way it was in college.
The other interesting aspect of their early corporate experience according to Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution PR, is how they “underestimated the actual day to day drudgery” of their jobs.
Every college student romanticizes life in a big corporate job, but millennials are experiencing a rude awakening akin to waking up at 2:23 am and staring at the ceiling.
According to Teri Thompson of Purdue University, they run the risk of leaving their jobs to get away from the dissatisfaction, only to fall right back into another one just like it.
Suffice it to say there are a good many talented but dissatisfied young women who may have to either reset their goals to stay in the corporate world or reinvent themselves very early to find happiness in their work.
My perspective is that it is never too early to find your dream job.
Younger women may want to think about gathering resources and going into business.
Many young people today are doing just that because they are motivated more by purpose and positive impact than by wealth and status.
At the other end of the spectrum is a deepening pool of mid- career women who have been caught up in a corporate downsizing, or victims of broken promises about retirement pensions, feeling pressured to reinvent their work lives to stay afloat, secure retirement, or both.
In common with their much younger colleagues, this is not the outcome they expected, especially after lengthy careers.
There is no reason for these talented, experienced, and resourceful women to be swept aside as if they have nothing left to contribute. On the contrary, it could well be a fantastic opportunity to leverage your skills and experience, become an entrepreneur and maybe even compete against your old team!
A midlife change can be your path to a reinvigorating career that inspires as well as lets you better control your own destiny, doing work you enjoy leaving you chomping at the bit to tell others about.
A mid or late career change is less about ladder climbing and more about an opportunity to explore what you want to do with a focus on purpose, fulfillment, and enjoyment.
Without a doubt, our first responsibility is to provide for our family and secure retirement later on, but an emphasis on what makes you happy is a higher priority in choosing what to do next.
You may end up pushing retirement back indefinitely because of the fulfillment you achieve, with no thought of stopping.
It is also well within the realm of possibility and entirely realistic for mothers and daughters to go into business together.
Each arrives in that place for completely different reasons in common cause.
What a fabulous blend of energy and experience!
The bottom line is that your dream job is available. You just need to make yourself seen, so to speak.
It is never too early to move from a paycheck to a dream job, nor is it ever too late.
For female entrepreneurs, your time is right now.
More women than ever before have the opportunity to open a small business.
Capture it before it passes you by.
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