The Career Doctor™

CAREER VERSUS KIDS?

Dear Career Doctor:

For various reasons it has become clear that I need to leave my current company. I have 2 small children and am very torn between wanting to find something locally that's slower-moving and more family-friendly versus continuing to go gung-ho in my career and find a job that's stimulating and fast-paced. The cons to this latter situation would be that it is likely to be in the City and likely to require longer hours (i.e., more time away from my little ones). The con to stayng local is that in general the jobs in my field are not as dynamic and so I won't be as stimulated (and therefore will be bored and unhappy).

What should I do? Stay local & bored but have more time with kids or commute and be challenged but away from my sweeties?

BB

Dear BB:

You want a stimulating job close to home, so put all your energy into finding just that. You didn't tell me your field, but since Westchester and Lower Connecticutt have many major corporations and dynamic companies, I can't believe that ALL the available jobs are boring. If they really are, think about what makes the city jobs more exciting -- and see if you can convince a potential employer to let you conduct your business that way.

On the other hand, if you will truly be bored and unhappy at work, you may be a cranky and resentful parent. No child needs that. So, another strategy would be to work the longer hours in the city, but plan to be truly available to your kids when you are home. That means cutting after-work time spent on chores and outside activities that take time away from the family -- and devoting weekends to pleasant relaxation with the kids.

I know some people advise spending time close to home when the kids are young, and taking a more demanding job once they are in school. But often the older a child gets, the more they need an available parent.

I wish all mothers and fathers were as concerned as you are with balancing their own career needs with the needs of their children. And I hope you can find a way to get the stimulation you need close to home.

The Career Doctor

 

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