family & career

The Ultimate Juggling Act: Family & Career

I am a working mom with an incredibly busy family. My spouse is in the military, I have three active kids, three German Shepherds, and to round it out, two cats. There is never a dull moment in our house, or a quiet one at that. My job in recruiting is equally busy and rarely slows down. Sometimes work takes the majority of my time and other times my family needs more attention. It is not necessarily an equal balance, but an ebb and flow between the two. The beauty is in finding how to make it all work so I am the best I can be in both roles. There have been points though I have had to adjust. I was working as an HR Director, running a dance studio, and starting a family. Twelve hour work days were normal and it was not sustainable. It was time to realign.

I have conversations with candidates who ask how to juggle it all; whether it is ok to take a step back or if it will hurt their career to adjust to what they need at this point in their lives. They are smart, intelligent, and accomplished individuals who have put career progression as their primary focus. Now they are finding they need a year (or a few) to be present for family, to help aging parents, or maybe just to take a break after an incredibly demanding role. There is hesitation to pull back on their career momentum, but recognize their priorities need to shift in this moment. How can they position themselves in a positive light to an employer as an asset and not appear unmotivated while taking a step back in responsibilities?  

As our lives change it is never a linear process. There are ups and downs and it is very rare someone can be entirely focused on their career 100 percent of the time. It is ok to realign priorities as life changes, and that can go either direction towards family or career. This should be a universal understanding, but there is still a fear that an employer might not find value in these adjustments. Someone taking a step back can be a huge asset to a company or team. They have an employee that is knowledgeable in their field, understands processes, and can step in if there are more complicated issues that arise. For the employee, they can leave at the end of the day having accomplished solid work and have the ability to focus on what they need to out of the office. A good team combines great people who are steady in their role along with those working towards upward progression. Both roles are an equally important part of team/company success. Be clear in where you are at and why and how you will contribute to company success in that particular role. Those explanations will often address any worries from an employer about a decrease in compensation, responsibilities, or leadership.

At different points in your life it may be time to reach for the stars in your career and other times to consistently tackle what you know. Adjust, realign, and find continued successes in your career.

Monya DeBoer, Aureus Group

Monya DeBoer

Monya joined Aureus Group as an Account Manager in 2018 after working as a Senior Executive Recruiter in banking. She has also worked on an internal Talent Acquisition team, served as a Director of Human Resources, and has been a business owner for 12 years. Her combined experience provides a robust understanding of organizational goals, corporate structure, and the intricacies of team dynamics.

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