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Who am I now? Mum-job or career go-getter?

(10 Posts)
Kif Tue 21-Dec-04 21:05:07

I'm having an identity crisis. Who am I now with regards to my ambition? What do I want from a job?

I've taken a year off and due to go back to my family-friendly employer when Dd is 1yr. They are generally exemplarily in all things family - (though I'm trying to get through quite a radical flex working arrangement which immediate manager though was fine, but higher up the chain they are making more negative sounds.).

My skills are flavour of the month at the moment, and an old boss has looked me up and said that I would be a strong candidate to work for him in his new job. This is in a different organisation. Although I know him to be family-friendly, realistically it will be more pressure. Dh thinks if I go for it I should go full time, as no point otherwise. However, likely v. good pay rise, and generally exciting opportunity. In a year, I will be much less in demand.

Feel like I'm moving in tiny steps in a direction I'm not sure I want to go... I don't want to 'compromise' my relationship with Dd by going after this big job thing... but don't want to be limited by my perception of the jobs that mums can do. I have enthusiasm for work, but feel guilty about it. Then again, I'm too young (24) to give up - at least I feel I'd be missing opportunities...

Also feel queasy at the whole idea of telling my current employer that I'm leaving - they've been good to me, and have lost many key staff recently. Again though, think I'm being a bit of a woman by thinking that, and that that attitude will seriously limit what I can achieve in my career.

HELP!! Please advice - especially anyone who has been through something similar... I just can't seem to stop going round in circles - think that my own perception of 'who I am now' will influence my future career whether or not I move now...

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Tue 21-Dec-04 21:12:52

Well all I can say is if the choice is flexi/part-time against full-time go-getting, stressful then personally (did you hear that personally and in my choice not as in this is the only way) I would choose the flexi / part-time and put career on a back-burner

this may be a hot time for your skills, but its the only time your DS is going to be a toddler

Wishywashy Tue 21-Dec-04 22:02:27

Hi Kif,

I returned to work mid October after 6 months off.
I was and still am very career minded albeit my priorties are different now I have a baby.
I was lucky and on my return to work got promoted. I also have a very flexible boss who allows me to work full time but work 2 days from home. Being away from work does make you feel insecure and I really felt a dislike to my maternity cover girl because I didn't want to feel like she'd done a better job. Wierd but hey.. hormones and all that!

I think you have to go for your gut feeling and decide what you want long term.

Leaving baby is hard and I think about him all day, but I personally found I now value more the time I have with DS.
I miss my friends but try to make time to see them when I can.

Personally in 6months time I hope to be pregnant again and my career will go on hold again.
After that time who knows... start my own business again and leave the city... possibly.

Good luck!

tillykins Tue 21-Dec-04 22:09:50

Hi Kif, just to be awkward, I have gone back to work - because we need my salary - and I hate being away from my baby. I was always very career minded but now I could just chuck it in an instant
Do you have to decide now or can you mull it over for a few weeks?

Kif Tue 21-Dec-04 22:28:43

I've been mulling for a while - perversely generally on the theme of 'if they don't accomodate my flexible working request I'll quit work and have 12 kids'.

Quite how this has morphed to 'if I don't get what i want I'll get another job, I don't know. The external job - if I wanted it - would need me to send my CV and meet old boss for lunch to talk in more detail - which would be no commitment at that stage. However, a few days ago I was just going to email reply 'thanks but no thanks', so I can feel myself getting drawn into the idea of it.

Kif Tue 21-Dec-04 22:40:31

I think that I feel that once I get a reputation for having low ambition, there won't be any way back, even after my baby is bigger.

I've made sure I took my year - but wonder how much longer she actually needs me (as opposed to me missing her, which I'm sure I'll do even when she has kids of her own).

Whether we need my salary is a moot point. We have 18months salary equivalent savings (deposit fund, but could divert), and Dh applying for high flying positions after he finishes studying (though not got one yet, so uncertainty there). Really, it is a self-perception thing/how I present myself to the world.

Gobbledigoose Tue 21-Dec-04 23:25:10

It sounds to me like you are being pulled between what your heart wants to do (be with dd as much as possible) and what your head/society in general thinks you should do - go back to work and try to balance everything.

If I were you I'd try to clear my head of stereotypes and what the everyone else might think and just ask yourself 'what do I want to do, right now?' and then do it.

You only live life once - do what you want.

Kif Wed 22-Dec-04 00:04:42

I keep changing my mind what I want!

Kif Wed 22-Dec-04 09:52:56

bump - still tailspinning.

Today think that I should choose job on the main criteria of which is most family friendly...

See? Changed my mind again!

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Wed 22-Dec-04 09:58:45

meet with them and see what they're offering

(I went back to work full time when DS was 6 months old only to give up entirely 10 months later to be a SAHM .. that was in 2002 and I never regretted it .. but I was lucky that I'd acheived all my career ambitions)

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