As an outspoken woman in the Bible Belt building a career in tech, I’ve had my fair share of “work sucks” moments. Some I brought on myself and some I didn’t. One of the most difficult work issues I faced was balancing work and motherhood. I still have flash backs of the fear, anger and utter helplessness I felt at times when looking summer square in the face. For me, summer was the worst. It’s when I felt like the biggest failure as a mom. I wanted to work...and be a professional...and keep my skills sharp...and be known as the as the strong ass business leader I was born to be...but I also wanted all that to go away for 3 months out of the year so I could focus on being a mom while school was out. I was conflicted, torn between 2 worlds that meant so much to me. It sucked!
I’m serious y’all, just writing about this makes my chest tighten.
How about you? Are you facing something at work that makes you feel tense? Are you spinning options through your mind like flipping channels on the tv -- just looking for something good to pop up?
Here’s some good news, YOU ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. Life may not look like you had envisioned right now but you get to choose what you do about it. Ask yourself:
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling it?
- What do I want to feel?
- What can I do to change how I feel?
Do some root cause analysis (RCA) and understand what the problem is. For me, my RCA uncovered the need for flexibility and support to put family first. Looking around at the other young mothers in my workplace and discussing options with leaders made it clear that this wasn’t the environment for me. So, I started looking elsewhere. Armed with knowledge about what I wanted I asked better questions, I represented myself as my true self, I set boundaries and negotiated accordingly. Was it perfect? Nope, but it was exactly what it needed it to be in that season of life.
If works sucks, understand why. Getting clear about the problem and identifying what you need helps you come up with better solutions. You have options. Sometimes the fix is simple and sometimes it’s not. A little self-awareness and time spent understanding the root cause of the issue will save you time and frustration in the future. And always remember – YOU GET TO CHOOSE.