Monday, September 19, 2011

What Are YOU Working Towards?

The movie, “I don’t know how she does it” has unleashed a flurry of articles on the subject of women and the work/life/kids/husbands balance. In the movie (which I hope to see with gal pals soon) the main character balances and demanding career in finance with her child rearing responsibilities, without ignoring her husband, friends etc. I literally, “don’t know how she does it,” I thought to myself. I think that about her and all the mommies that I adore and even my friends without children but who nonetheless still have incredibly demanding lives. I feel overwhelmed with my 20 something life which at the moment involves a totally understanding partner and a 4 pound dog. Let’s not forget my large family which never fails to create drama in my life at the most inopportune times.

Given the many demands of our modern lives, it’s easy to get lost in the mundane details of everyday tasks. However, movies like this make me think about what my life could be like in the next 5, 10, 15 years. What about you? Have you asked yourself what kind of life you want in the next 5 to 10 years? Are you currently on a path to achieve this lifestyle? Are there any conditions in the workforce or in your current career path that are a hinder for you to achieve that lifestyle? Do you want children? It may seem very unromantic but its super important to consider your choice in partner when analyzing how you will run a Fortune 500 Company, and achieve your dreams of motherhood and meet your bff for coffee/drinks once a week.( Of course, I will one day be doing all these things I addition to volunteering and weighing 120 lbs. Haha)

On a more serious note, I would really like to believe that no one should have to choose between having a fulfilling personal life or having a successful career. I myself struggle with this statement as I realize it may sound naïve or unrealistic, especially for those of you working in especially demanding fields. But I believe that we have the opportunity to change things. The generations before us were busy opening the doors for us. Now that these doors are (almost) wide open it’s important to think about what we will do once we are sitting in that corner office or to think about whether or not the corner office is what we’re chasing after.

 I realize that these are all very self-indulgent, bourgeois/yuppie problems. My mother never even had the option to consider this work life balance. Working wasn’t a feminist statement, it was an economic necessity. Whenever I think of all the women like my mother and all of the trailblazers like that came before me. It is then I pause and realize that thanks to all of their hard work I am able to sit here and blog about the difficulties of being a modern woman. Then I think about my nieces, sister and all of the other women coming behind me!

The conditions for women and everyone else will only change if the woman entering the workforce NOW decide that they will break with the status quo and start changing things up once they are in charge. As that old saying goes, you need to be the change you wish to see in the world!! I want to leave you with video by someone I have been admiring for a while. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook. I love a woman who is bad ass at work and manages to look stylish, fabulous and put together! She gave a very poignant speech on women in the workforce. In her speech she references how women abandon the workforce before they meet their true potential. I wonder though, how many women are put off by the seemingly overwhelming prospect of having a career in a workforce that hasn’t adapted to all of the changes that have occurred in the lives of women and men in last 60 years.. Let me know your thoughts. I especially want to know if you disagree!

Stay Fabulous!
Betsy Aimee


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