Let’s get real. To have a successful professional career – whether it’s your own business or working for someone else in a business firm or corporation, there will be sacrifices. There have been several articles out lately that mention some of the common sacrifices women make for their careers As a female executive who came up in a large corporation, and since that time, having my own business for 16 years, I have made certain sacrifices. Some I wouldn’t make. For example, I wouldn’t sacrifice having children to reach my career goals.
Here are five sacrifices women make for their jobs or careers that I think are worth it and why…
Having less face time with children. This is a sacrifice you have to make if you have an 8-hour job without flexibility. Often in working my way up, it took me more than eight hours a day before I left for home. It was worth it to me to ensure excellent childcare. It’s great if you are lucky to have a stay at home dad or a parent who takes your kids. There is also high-quality care available such as day care centers, in-home nannies, and other options. Creating piece of mind means worry-free time to do your work.
Making dinners and handling the housework each day. I tried to do this while working full time, and it just about killed me. We wound up sitting down to dinner at 8:00 pm and I was grumpy! Do you think I wanted to wash clothes and dust after work? No way! So I hired a person to do this. She was an excellent cook, and she also cleaned and did the laundry. I also got someone to prepare 5 healthy meals for us each week. I loved that my house was organized, clean and my spouse and I ate when I arrived home.
Staying put in your office or location. This sacrifice includes having to relocate or travel for your career. Traveling paid off with great networking, visibility, and learning. Relocations can be ideal for a career as well. When I was young, I didn’t mind traveling. But later on, when I started having kids, it became an issue. I made it as enjoyable as possible when on the road. I created some limits when I could, delegating some travel, and treated myself well when away.
Turning off technology. I can’t do it! The messages pile up fast. Frankly, any time off without technology creates a punishment for me when I return. I tell my family when on vacation that I will take 1 hour in the early morning to review my emails and messages and handle anything urgent. Much less load when I return!
Enjoying daytime leisure activities and school events. I had to be very picky about the school events I took time off to attend because I benefitted from being as fully present for work meetings as possible. I used the gym early in the morning, at lunchtime or after work. With more possibilities to negotiate workplace flexibility, this may not be such a big sacrifice for women after all.