How I Found Power in My Career Pause

How I Found Power in My Career Pause

The power in pausing isn’t unique to motherhood, in fact, it’s something that I’ve tapped into at multiple times in my life. In each of these pauses, I found a clear sense of self that helped me move more confidently into the next chapter of my life.

Permission to reset and reflect

I took a year off between high school and college when I was 18 to strip away the noise of the tumultuous teen years and figure out who I was without peer influence. A decade later I went to business school where I found the opportunity to surround myself with intelligent, diverse people and consider what came next.

Motherhood presented the same opportunity - the birth of my son brought a clear sense of purpose and impact that I’d been craving. This moment in time gave me the freedom to part with the linear path I’d been on in favor of something else. That something was a little baby who deserved and demanded a lot of attention, who preferred me at my most authentic, and who afforded me a new perspective on life with meaning.

Leadership skills in the home

The real growth, however, wasn’t in those two days a week or evenings of creating. The real growth happened in the long, ordinary days with, first one, and then two small children.

A different kind of networking

In addition to the inner work, I found multiple “professional-esque” opportunities presented in the most surprising places. Playdates, playgrounds, and eventually PTA committees are excellent places to network and in those settings, I met the most diverse set of women I’ve ever known.

While I won’t offer an overly rosy glow by suggesting that conversations go interrupted, the commonality of motherhood creates a deeper connection and opens the world to people outside of an industry bubble. Conversations quickly advance past small talk and exciting ideas appear amid the starts and stops of chatter.

Giving yourself permission to invest in yourself

Embracing this pause is not easy. It’s a challenge to embrace the reset, the growth, and the connections that happen in this pause when time is so scarce during early motherhood. In interviewing over 250 women who identify with the pause for family life, I’ve seen that even if you have the resources to hire a babysitter or part-time help to afford you a few hours or a couple of days a week, guilt can still be the pervasive limiting factor.

Letting things go

No one’s experience in motherhood is the same and I’m focused on supporting any modern woman to feel confident in this chapter by providing resources for development, tools for confidence, and promoting conversations that equip mothers with what they need to emerge more powerful from their period of early motherhood.

Sometimes that comes in the form of simple acknowledgment that ambitious women can choose to spend their days with their children, or gaining insight into the lives of women in the same stage. Understanding that it’s ok to tap into a partner or another loved one for some much-needed support if paid help isn’t an option. Realizing that during those precious nap time or evening hours when all is quiet that it’s ok to decide what you’re going to let go of in order to take care of yourself. Personally, I swear by anything that serves my creativity or helps bring me clarity much more than I value a clean house.

Re-evaluating on the regular

Unlocking all the power in this chapter starts with one initial mindset - trust. Trust that this time at home is temporary, that you can re-evaluate at any time, and that this moment in time will lead you where you’re meant to be next.

This is your untitled chapter, and I can’t wait to see where it leads you.

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