A fellow mom recently told me that she had to “claw her way back into the workforce” after spending several years staying home with her two children.
Wow. That seemed a little harsh to me. I’m sure I won’t have to claw my way back to work….or at least I HOPE that won’t be the case.
Yet it seems that everywhere I look, I seem to find discouragement. In a New York Times Op Ed – “Why Gender Equality Stalled” by Stephanie Coontz there are sobering statistics:
“One study cautioned that nearly 30 percent of opt-out moms who wanted to rejoin the labor force were unable to do so, and of those who did return, only 40 percent landed full-time professional jobs. In “The Price of Motherhood,” the journalist Ann Crittenden estimated that the typical college-educated woman lost more than $1 million dollars in lifetime earnings and forgone retirement benefits after she opted out.”
In my own experience thus far, I have been rejected in two cases because I was overqualified and too expensive for the salary range that was being considered. I suggested part-time employment at that same salary, but that offer was not seriously considered. Ugh…
Why aren’t workplaces more mom-friendly? Why isn’t there more flexibility? EVERYONE – moms, dads, children, adults with aging parents, or even people with pets would benefit from a results-oriented workplace that offered more flexibility. Previously I wrote about the Results Only Work Environment in a post about looking for a lateral move instead of a vertical career move.
As it currently stands, it may be difficult making that lateral move or finding a part time role, leaving me to reach for that next rung on the corporate ladder. I’m afraid this will mean more hours and much more stress – unless I find something that I LOVE to do and can find a way to balance it all on the go. I’m still optimistic that something is out there!
Can career dreams and kids coincide?
This question was recently posed and discussed in a post by Breadwinning Mama. I think you CAN and SHOULD still have your dreams, but the pursuit of such dreams may need to slow down a bit when you have children. As I continue to stay at home and be entertained by my two beautiful children during 12 – 14 hour days, I’ll still hold fast to my career goals while trying to claw my way back to work.
- 5 Things Working Moms Want Right Now (forbes.com)
- Harvard Business: Morning Advantage: Why Working Families Are Stuck (blogs.hbr.org)
- Feminism: the goal shoudn’t be to ‘have it all’ – but to ‘share it all’ (tv.msnbc.com)
- Why Gender Equality Stalled (christinedecleene.wordpress.com)
I’ve read a number of the books and posts you’ve mentioned. I think we are still in a very challenging job market, so re-entry is tough, especially if you’re commanding a decent salary. I’ve been told it’s good to keep your foot in the door, whether that be through freelance, consulting, part-time work, etc. I think your network is also key. If you know people who understand your strengths and what you bring, they’ll find a way to hire you and pay you accordingly. Hopefully you’re in a position where you can dive back into a role you really want since I’m sure it will be tough to leave the kiddos. Good luck on your search for that next right position.
Yes, you are right. There are some opportunities out there, but it is really competitive. I’ve been doing some freelance work and keeping in touch with some of my contacts. I just need to expand my search a bit and see what happens. I know it will be a change from staying at home, but I think we (kiddos included) are ready! Thanks for wishing me well!