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How to Navigate the Path to a Career You Love as a Mum

Updated: Jun 26

As mums, we often juggle numerous roles and responsibilities, and finding a job that we genuinely love can seem like a daunting task. Balancing family commitments with a career is no small feat, and the journey towards finding fulfilling work requires more than just aligning your job with your interests and enjoying your daily tasks. In this blog post, I aim to delve deeper into the emotional and practical aspects of finding work that brings true satisfaction, especially for mums.



The Basics: Identifying Interests and Enjoyable Tasks

 

When it comes to finding a job that fits, the initial advice usually involves identifying what you’re passionate about and ensuring your day-to-day tasks are enjoyable. This makes sense: if you’re passionate about your work and find joy in your daily activities, you’re more likely to feel engaged, satisfied, and motivated. But as mums, our lives are layered with complexities that require us to look beyond the surface.

 

If you’re unsure about your next career move, take a moment for a simple brainstorming session. Think about your interests, strengths, and the roles that excite you. But remember, finding a job you love isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about where and how you do it, and how it fits into your life as a mum.

 

Beyond Interests and Enjoyable Tasks: The Work Environment

 

Imagine you’ve identified your interests and strengths and landed a job that seems perfect on paper. The industry is fascinating, the role aligns with your skills, and the daily tasks are exciting. But once you start the job, you realise the experience is far from what you expected. The work environment is toxic, your boss is a micromanager, the workload is overwhelming, and you feel undervalued and underpaid. In this situation, the nature of the tasks becomes secondary to the negative impact of the work environment on your well-being and your ability to be present for your family.


 

The Importance of Work Environment Factors

 

As mums, the quality of your work environment is crucial to finding a job you genuinely love. Factors such as autonomy, workload, recognition, a supportive community, fair policies, and alignment of values play a significant role in your overall job satisfaction and well-being. Let’s delve into these factors from the perspective of a mum:

 

  1. Autonomy: Do you have control over your work? Can you make decisions, or is your work dictated by others? Autonomy fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, which can significantly enhance job satisfaction, especially when balancing family life.

  2. Workload: Is your workload reasonable and sustainable? How does the company promote a healthy work-life balance? An excessive workload can lead to stress and burnout, making it difficult to be the mum you want to be. 

  3. Recognition: Are you adequately compensated and recognised for your work? This isn’t just about salary but also about feeling valued and acknowledged for your contributions. Recognition boosts morale and motivation, helping you feel appreciated both at work and at home.  

  4. Supportive Community: Is the work culture supportive? Can you grow and learn without fear of mistakes? Is there a sense of belonging and camaraderie? A supportive community can make a significant difference in your job satisfaction and personal growth, providing a sense of connection that extends beyond the workplace.  

  5. Fair Policies: Are the policies fair and transparent? Is there equality, avoiding favouritism or discrimination? Fair policies create a just work environment, fostering trust and respect among employees, which is essential for mums who need flexibility and understanding.

  6. Alignment of Values: Do your personal values align with the company's values? How do these values manifest in the business's daily operations? Working for a company whose values resonate with yours can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, making it easier to align your professional and personal lives.

 

Practical Steps to Evaluate Work Environment Quality

 

To ensure you find a job that not only aligns with your interests but also offers a supportive work environment, thorough research is essential before accepting a new role. Here are some practical steps to help you assess a company's work environment:



  1. Analyse Job Postings: Job postings can reveal a lot about a company’s culture. Look for red flags such as vague descriptions, overly demanding requirements, or a lack of emphasis on work-life balance. Postings that highlight employee benefits, professional development opportunities, and a positive work culture are more likely to reflect a supportive environment.

  2. Conduct Exit Interviews: Reach out to former employees who have left the company within the last year or two. Suggest meeting up for a coffee to ask them about their experience. Exit interviews can provide valuable insights into the company’s work environment, management style, and potential issues.  

  3. Conduct Reverse Job Interviews: Remember, interviews are two-way streets. Use them to ask questions that will help you understand if the company, team, and manager are a good fit for you. Enquire about management styles, team dynamics, opportunities for growth, and how the company handles work-life balance.

 

The Holistic Approach to Finding Work You Love

 

Finding work you genuinely love requires a holistic approach. It’s not enough to simply enjoy your tasks; you must also consider the overall work environment and how it supports your growth, happiness, and well-being. Without this comprehensive view, you risk ending up in a job that looks good on paper but disappoints in reality.

 

Do your due diligence before jumping into a new job. Investigate the company’s work environment, culture, and policies. If you fail to do this, you’re making a leap of faith at best and setting yourself up for a painful lesson at worst.

 

Conclusion

 

As mums, the often-overlooked truth about finding work you genuinely love is that it involves much more than aligning your work with your interests and enjoying your day-to-day activities. It encompasses the entire work environment, including factors such as autonomy, workload, recognition, a supportive community, fair policies, and alignment of values. By considering these elements, you can increase your chances of finding a career that not only excites you but also supports your overall well-being and growth.

 

Take the time to thoroughly research potential employers, analyse job postings, conduct exit interviews, and use reverse job interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the work environment. By doing so, you will be better equipped to find a job that you genuinely love and that offers a fulfilling and supportive environment, allowing you to thrive both at work and at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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