Several times in the past we have mentioned the benefits of belonging to a business community, especially if you are an entrepreneur. If you work in a corporate environment, there are built in connections that an entrepreneur does not have access to. The Women in Business network here in Beijing has been a great networking and relationship building group for us.
If meeting with a group in person is difficult for you, there are always online options. LinkedIn is an online community with myriad opportunities to connect with and learn from others. The Women in Business LinkedIn group has a lot of great conversations about the issues that affect working women, especially in China.
One issue close to the hearts of many working women is, of course, how to combine your career with raising children. This topic really got me thinking, so I’m sharing my response to it here as well.
I think being a working mum is one of the toughest jobs out there – trying to constantly balance the growing demands of both kids and work. For me, just when I think I’ve got everything “balanced” – things change again (a kid needs more help with homework, a special work project needs extra attention, etc). And the balancing act starts again….
I find this a great challenge.
Many women’s “career phases” correlate with “life phases” (life phases – single, married, pregnant, maternity leave, new baby, nursing, toddler, etc) – and it’s taken a long time for companies to “catch up” with the idea that their company is losing a great deal when they write mothers off (for taking leave, for working part-time when kids are small, etc).
I believe every woman needs to decide for herself what her priorities are – what is best for herself, for her children, for her family; I realize, however, that some women don’t have a choice – they have to go back to work.
For me, I decided early on that I wanted to be a part of raising my children, especially when they were small (my two girls are 5 and 2). I am extremely fortunate in being an entrepreneur, so I have more flexibility in my working hours. Several mornings a week, I spend dedicated time with my two girls (and I usually take on extra work in the evenings to make up for lost time). My staff know that I am not always in the office. It is not always easy to keep to this schedule, but this is what works for me, based on my priorities and life decisions.
I would love to hear your thoughts on balancing motherhood and career.
What do YOU do?