When I was thinking about launching the eBook, Own It, I reached out to my sisters to get their perspective. I wanted to start the conversation in a way that resonated with people-- and wasn't annoying. My amazingly smart and accomplished sister Anna came right back with this. Below are her thoughts on navigating the tough choices we all have to make in our careers with the support of those around us. I feel like I hit the sister jackpot this bunch Here's Anna...
In the course of a year, I had to make the two biggest career decisions to date. The first was whether or not to leave my full-time job in which I had obtained a coveted position after much hard work, but had found myself deliriously unhappy struggling with work life balance. And then the second, six months later, whether or not to leave the full-time days at home with my children, coffee and play dates with other moms, and all I said I wanted for so long, to get back in the workforce accepting a part time position in my field.
Both of these decisions kept me up at night, so fearful of making the wrong choice and being able to undo it and what people would think of me. During a tumultuous time, it was my sisters’ advice and support that was of the most meaningful I received.
They had tremendous work experience and could understand my career goals and ambition, however, were in different fields and also had not yet had to make similar family choices. But it didn’t matter. Sisters can’t always relate to your unique situation or empathize with your inner conflict. But there are few people who know you better or can give you objective career advice because they have no stake in the situation other than wanting to see you happy.
Talking to them forced me to acknowledge the likelihood of anything truly being “part time”, given my personality and propensity to never say no. I couldn’t BS them. But their experience also said this was a unique opportunity to “have the best of both worlds”, which is probably what I really wanted all along, and was worth taking a chance.
Giving me that perspective that should it not work out, there was little to lose, other than maybe some money spent on new work clothes. There was no judgment for reneging on a decision so soon after the first one and there would be no judgment should I change my mind again. I know I lucked out with my lot.
Your “sister” may be a good mentor or friend. It’s that person that even when they don’t have all the answers, you know they will give you an honest opinion and long-term support. Sisterly advice can be blunt when it needs to be, kinder gentler when needed, but always from the heart. It can make even the most challenging decisions less daunting as you know if you fail, they’ll still be in your corner.