Wednesday, September 1, 2010


So, big changes are afoot in my workplace. We are massively expanding our services and will be absorbing several dozen of a pharmaceutical client's employees who are about to get pink slips (apparently, it's more economical to bring them back in as contractors, which may or may be true, but whatever). All of this is scheduled to happen while I am on maternity leave. Whew.

Except....that when I get back in January, it will basically be a whole new company. New faces, new reporting structure, and room for further growth as new management is needed to corral all the new direct reports. This is where my budding mama instincts are at odds with my developed-over-decades career ambition.

I am on a short list to be considered for a management position. I have been since I joined the company a little over a year ago, because A) I am good at what I do (*ahem*) and B) I have prior relevant management experience. Many of my colleagues who are jockeying for position meet criterion A but not B. So, I have an advantage. But, lo!, the timing.

Clearly, I am a poor match for any immediate positions because, yo, I have to birth a baby and such. But I have inside information that additional management positions are intended to be created and filled in a few months or so, coinciding perfectly with my return to work. I have all the skillz. I haz the ambition. But is it right?

I don't really know the answer. I firmly believe that, especially after all the sacrifices I made to get pregnant and to have this baby, I deserve complete fulfillment, and that includes career development and job satisfaction. I also happen to believe that being a working mother with career goals is not incompatible with caring for my family. In fact, I think it sets a right nice example to my son or daughter that mama brings home the bacon, too. I could tell myself at any stage of my child's life, "not now, s/he is only ___ weeks/months/years old and needs me," but I think there is truthfully no time at which my kid won't need me. It will always be a balancing act, no matter what my job responsibilities are. So, why let an opportunity pass me by as I wait for the mythical "perfect" time to act on a career opportunity that may not materialize again?

So, I am applying for the promotion. I may or may not get an interview for this round, and certainly will be passed over due to the timing of the open positions and the current state of my ute. But maybe I'll be considered for the next round. Gotta strike while the iron's hot. Gotta hope this is the right thing.


Lisa's mom said...

Yes, your kid will always need you for about twenty-five more years or so. Therefore, you should go for it for all the reasons you listed. And what is the worst case scenario? If it's overwhelming or not what you want, you make some changes. Good Luck!

jenicini said...

Go for it! I think you are right in that there will be some mythical time when it is "best" for you. Might as well go for it now!! :)

ASP said...

That's awesome, J. If this is what you want, then you should definitely go for it! I'll be crossing my fingers for you that you get the position and at least you'll have some time to process it all in your brainy brain while you're on maternity leave. You've got a lot of great things happening in your life! ;)

Trinity said...

If there is anything I've grown to believe in more strongly over the last year, it's taking the path of least regret. Throw your name in the hat, Jen. Go for it. It's a beautiful opportunity, man.

We've been dishing the whole what's-next-for-our-careers bit lately, too. Not in regards to promotions on the horizon, but to child care. I really want for one of us to stay home at least part-time...but I don't think I want to do it. My salary is greater than the hubs', and sidestepping things right now would be much harder on my career than it would be the hubs'. I go from 0 to googolplex on the anxiety chart in, like, 1 second when we start talking about these plans. Arggh.(Not that I'm complaining for being in this situation--not all all.) It's just not easy.

Anyway, you know me: I totally love a Mama who brings home the bacon. :)

Kelly said...

Bring that bacon home, lady!

It's always better to try for something than to wonder.

bunny said...

Good choice, friend. Of COURSE you deserve the whole package. And it seems like any option a couple chooses involves sacrifice. Either you work full time and are broken up about not being with your kid, or you're at home or working part time, broken up about not having a career. I like the option where you can always demote yourself later if it turns out you don't want to manage.