Recently I spoke to a working parents network about how to define what’s next in their careers using an exercise from my Soul Search, Research and Job Search approach:
I had them write out a vision of their ideal day from start to finish. It was fun and inspiring to hear their scenarios filled with a balance of meaningful work, quality time for family, and quiet time for themselves.
As we delved into how to make these ideal scenarios a reality, I felt the excitement in the room turn to frustration. Many had been trying in vain to create better balance only to find that work or family demands always took precedence.
My Mom Left for Med School
Rather than debate, I decided to share the story of my Mom, who at the age of 28, with three small children moved two hours away to go to medical school and pursue her dream of becoming a physician.
I was 6, my sister was 5 and my brother was 10 at the time. Looking back, I never felt neglected by my Mother. We saw her every weekend and had fun adventures in the big city where she went to school. My father and grandparents took great care of us during the week, and after four years of school and one year of internship, my Mom was back home, kicking off her new career just 10 minutes from our home.
For the many years since, my Mom has become a sought-after physician, and patients adore her. She works hard but loves her work healing others. I can’t imagine what life would have been like had my Mom not had the courage to go after her dream job.
Why It Was Worth It
It took effort, it took time away from her family, but in the end, it inspired me to know that I can have the career that’s right for me and my family will be better for it.
So this Mother’s Day I encourage all Moms to take time for themselves to envision an ideal day in the life and go after it. It will inspire your children to go after their ideal careers too – a wonderful legacy to leave. Happy Mother’s Day!
Maggie Mistal is a certified career & life purpose coach, contributor to Whole Living magazine, and the host of "Making a Living with Maggie," which airs every Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112, XM 157.