After a promotion into a director role for a large healthcare company, I learned I was pregnant with my first child. I was thrilled – and terrified. I struggled with many questions. What would this mean for my career? How could I be a high-performing teammate and more importantly an excellent mom? How could I nurse and travel for business? Would I be viewed as less dedicated to my career and overlooked for opportunities? And with whom could I talk openly about my concerns?
I fumbled through this transition to working parenthood as many working parents do, and through another pregnancy, maternity leave, and many other “stage transitions” we experience as working parents. I had great mentors around me at work, but I didn’t feel comfortable completely opening up with many of them. I was concerned about how others would see me, and feared career ramifications if I shared my concerns openly.
One amazing mentor saw my struggle, and pushed me to take risks and expect more of myself. She urged me to go to graduate school and not dial-down my career so quickly. Through the process of obtaining my MBA and deep self-reflection, I realized that I was not only looking for answers in the wrong places, but asking the wrong questions. I assumed that there was an innate conflict between my role as a mother and an employee. I assumed that I didn’t have time to expand out my network and adjust it for my new life phase. And I realized that there are a lot of women with these same concerns and struggles. By shifting my internal belief that work and life were opposing and conflicting forces to the belief that they can compliment each other, I opened myself to many other possibilities. By expanding my network to include other ambitious parents with careers, I discovered that a deeper support network can both help and inspire.
This journey into working parenthood motivated me to start Parents with Careers in 2014. Parents with Careers is a company dedicated to helping working parents navigate the journey of working parenthood through the power of education, networking and support. Together, we can show the world the power of Parents with Careers. Together, we can empower each other, our families, and our teams. I invite you to join me on this journey.