Most of my friends in my age range (the mid to late 20s) aren't really thinking about kids and how becoming a mother will affect their careers. All we talk about is how we want to progress in our work lives and what we're going to do to get there. However, I've been realizing that it's a good idea to start thinking about how becoming a mom will affect our careers. If we think about it ahead of time, we'll be well prepared when the time comes around. Huffington Post writer Margaret Heffernan gives some great ideas on what you should do in your professional life before motherhood:
- Bank up achievements. Heffernan recommends building a solid resume of achievements and skills before you take some time off to be a mommy. And while you're away, do your best to keep in touch with professional contacts and find ways to retain your skills. You can do that by taking classes or workshops.
- Find what you love before you have kids. This will make the transition back to work easier. In fact, in a New Yorker profile, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says that she's seen too many women give up their jobs once they had children because they were not doing what they loved prior to having kids.
I'm gradually seeing the conversations with people in my Gen Y social circle changing and heading toward serious life topics such as down payments on houses, how big the wedding guest list is going to be, and baby names. Becoming a mother is a reality that many career women will face, so it's better to start thinking about it now even if kids are currently the furthest things from your mind.