Career change and having a BABY! … to be more precise, how having a baby might affect my future career …
I would never say this in a job interview though! It was in my early thirties. I felt the nudge to discover what else apart from finance career my life has to offer. I was single at the time yet the idea of starting a family and becoming a mum (one day) and not having a few career options freaked me out big time. I couldn’t imagine how I’d cope with becoming a mum while managing a career change at the same time.
The second reason that scared me was that with a newborn baby I could hardly imagine going back to my career in leadership. It’s a limiting belief perhaps, but one that truly scared me. I interviewed enough women to understand that being away from their baby for more than 8-10 hours a day seemed just like a hard thing to accept.
“Why did you worry about something that hasn’t happened yet, Adriana? You could work it out when it happens as many other women do!“
Yes, you’re right. I possibly could. But I was thinking differently.
- I was thinking two steps ahead and wanted to have options.
- I wanted to separate the challenges that comes from career change and motherhood to gain freedom of chocie and peace of mind when I become a mother one day.
- Being single meant I had time, space and energy to explore my options without feeling the pressure on my finances, lack of sleep or taking care of a baby.
I didn’t know if or how I would meet my partner, but I knew “now” was the time to stop procrasting.
I decided to act on a challenge that would come later
I started my journey of discovery. On that journey I attended many events with intention to find clarity, inspiration and build a support network.
I remember attending an event for entrepreneurs in London. I was sitting in the middle of the room full of successful entrepreneurs. At that time, I felt like I don’t belong there at all. I was still trying to figure out what to do next – shall I try for a better position in my career, maybe a different industry or shall I start my own business? The idea of becoming a digital nomad working from a beach while sipping mojito appealed a lot too! I hoped the conference would help me to figure it out. And it did!
We were given a task to write down What’s Your Way? Why do you want to become an entrepreneur? I wrote similar things as many other women with terrible work and life balance feeling the nudge to do something meaningful would write:
Enjoying my life more, work less and have more time for my personal life,
Making more money by doing what I love,
Making a difference, leave a legacy
“Please write down, who do you want to become?”
Then the next question came up. We were given time to think and write down who do we wnat to become as entrepreneurs.
I drew 3 circles on a piece of paper representing who do I want to become in my future.
My first circle said “LOVING WIFE & MUM”.
I looked down, read those two words again and couldn’t believe what my hand wrote. I was at an event for entrepreneurs, a business conference. How come the first thought that came to my mind is this? This is not the best time to think of dating, marriage and children. I trusted the process and carried on.
My second circle said “FULFILLED LEADER” (making a difference)
Seriously? Aren’t you here because you feel burn out and tired from management? Don’t you have enough of that already? Isn’t it what you want to change? How come the word leader appeared on my paper? It didn’t make sense at all. I let go off my inner critic and carried on. Let’s see what comes next?!
My third circle said “BUSINESS WOMAN”
What?! Who on Earth do you think you’re to call yourself a business woman? But hey, why not? Somehow, I convinced myself that if I was able to run a team of people, change management and build trustworthy relationships with stakeholders, I’d be courageous enough to start my own venture (How naive, I know?!). I trusted the process and let those words stay on my paper shining bright.
I looked at my 3 circles and then it all clicked.
I know who I want to become. But more importantly I know who I don’t want to become.
‘I don’t want to be a miserable and unfulfilled leader, business woman, neglecting partner or a frustrated mum.”
It was here when I realised that although I am single with big dreams about happy family life and successful career or business, I had the time and opportunity to figure out what my career options are so when my partner and baby come to my life one day, I have more than enough energy left to grow my career and be a kind and supportive partner and a mum – the kind of partner and mum they deserve because life too short to waste in a job you don’t like and then spend the rest of your evening worrying about it!
This was then. How does my life look like now?
Today I’m happily engaged to love of my love and enjoy having two careers – both that I love – one in a corporate world as a people manager and second one as a career coach in my location free online business supporting clients from UK and Europe. I could work from anywhere in the world with my laptop and sip mojitos, just as I imagined years ago.
I guess the time will come when I have to make a choice.
But for now I feel happy that when I close the office door (the laptop screen these days), I feel fulfilled, content and most of all I figured out my options. I have more than enough time and energy to enjoy our evenings and weekends with my partner together (without worrying about my career)!
That’s my secret that fuelled my transition and building my career portfolio.
What is your experience?
- How did you deal with your career change and arrival of your baby – did you make similar preparations or did you deal with it when it happened?
- Could you share what the reality for a professional mum with a newborn is?
- Have you somehow prepared your life and career for the possibility of being a mum?
- Would you love to make a career change before having a baby?
- And what about Working Dads – how do you juggle a newborn and your career?
I’d love to hear about your experiences, feel free to comment or join my FB community ZERO TO DREAM JOB CLUB and share your views in our private group – safe and empowering space for career support and transitions.
Author: AdriAna Kosovska
Professional and certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY
I work with employees, managers and organisations that care about
Dream job & Career Development | Stress reduction | Talents development |