Guest blog by Fiona Clark, Founder of Inspired Mums
Since founding Inspired Mums in 2006, I’ve worked with hundreds of mums to help them find work that engages and fulfills them and each time I’m reminded of the key role authenticity plays in making the right career decisions.
I firmly believe that it is only by being true to yourself and living your life in an authentic way that you can find real happiness and fulfillment. All too often women put pressure on themselves to assume a particular persona – whether it’s the perfect mum or ambitious career woman. When in reality, pretending to be something you’re not or conforming to other people’s expectations, can result in increased stress levels and a feeling of dissatisfaction with life choices.
So to help you be true to yourself, here are my top tips on how to be authentically you in your career choices.
- Understand what really makes you tick
It is only by understanding what really interests you and identifying your strengths, that you can find work that is both rewarding and enjoyable. Ask yourself what you feel passionate about? What excites and motivates you? Finding your ‘flow’ at work is crucial – and by using skills that energise you, work won’t drain your energy levels and feel like an uphill battle. Above all resist the trap that so many working mums fall into – which is taking any role that fits around your children’s school run. This often leads to role that leaves you feeling bored and de-motivated. Instead find work that plays to your strengths and negotiate flexibility.
- Know your core values
In my experience, mums often overlook the importance of finding the right cultural fit in their search for flexible jobs, when in reality this is one of key things to consider when returning to work or changing careers. So take the time to write down the type of behaviour and culture that work to you. For example, if you are someone who loves teamwork and collaboration, you would feel very uncomfortable working in an organisation that is very competitive and unsupportive. By being authentic in this way, you are more likely to identify companies that prioritise the same values as you.
- Be clear on your lifestyle choices
When you are caught up in the excitement of securing a new role, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of practicalities and logistics. So before you make your career decisions, think about factors such as how many hours you are prepared to work and how far you are prepared to commute, then make sure you stick to them. Similarly, be clear on what you are willing to compromise on so that when opportunities come along you can evaluate them and make the right decision for you.
10% discount available for Beyondtheschoolrun.com readers – so if you’d like any 1-2-1 coaching to help you make the right career choices or return to work smoothly contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Fiona on 07789 597209.