- There are times when women prioritize family/relationships over careers and take a career break.
- But they can create a successful work-life balance.
- What’s required is initiative, support, and belief in their abilities.
Striking a Balance: Women’s Career Journeys, Challenges, and Triumphs
The concept of women pursuing various careers is globally well-recognized. And, despite the struggles while trying to balance their personal and professional life, we do have various examples of women who successfully established their identities.
The benefits of achieving a prosperous career include stability in finances, a boost in self-esteem, and the opportunity to gain invaluable leadership expertise. But, what remains constant in their professional lives is the uncertainty regarding how long they will be able to continue.
It is because most women believe in balancing all aspects of their lives. While the aspects involved are subjective for every woman, the main objective is to balance professional goals with important relationships in life’s journey.
McKinsey’s “Women in the Workplace 2022” report states, “Women leaders are also overworked at home. Women at all levels are far more likely than men to be responsible for most or all of their family’s housework and caregiving. But the imbalance is especially stark between men and women in leadership roles. Among entry-level employees, women are about twice as likely as men to be doing all of this work; among employees in leadership, the gap nearly doubles.”
Navigating Women’s Career Choices
When women feel there are people who should be prioritized over work, it doesn’t take long for them to put their careers in the back seat. It can be family planning, prioritizing relationships, and many more, which sometimes leads to a 360-degree change in their lives.
I believe this mindset is prevalent among women worldwide, irrespective of their social status and occupation.
In some cases, the reason why women make the decision to “take a break” is also influenced by various negative factors. These may include a lack of family support, a toxic workplace culture, and unforeseen situations. Additionally, attention is drawn to gender-biased individuals who expect women to solely shoulder emotional family support and quit their careers at a specific life stage.
But there are also times when loved ones provide immense strength and support for a woman to be the best version of herself. They will also help her revive her career, believing she’s capable of more than she’s currently doing.
One of Them Who Made It
Seven-time World Champion Indian women’s boxer Mary Kom got married and decided to embrace motherhood when she was at the peak of her career. The decision to pause for a while was not forced. However, there was still a strong urge to return to the boxing ring where she had spent most of her life.
Returning to the profession was not easy for her due to physical limitations after giving birth to her children. However, she decided to start her career again with support from her spouse and her loved ones.
She was able to revamp her career and return to the boxing ring with even stronger skills. Mary Kom also established an example of a strong-headed woman who successfully balanced her profession and family. She then continues to achieve various feats for the country.
This story exemplifies how a woman can sustain her professional journey through unwavering family support, ultimately achieving a harmonious work-life balance.
Gearing Up for a New Beginning
Sometimes, the motivation to start anew could stem from a desire for the independence once held and a heightened sense of credibility. Financial constraints can also drive the urge to jumpstart a career.
In particular, when the sole responsibility of providing food for the family on the table falls on one member’s shoulders. In any case, confidence and self-belief are highly elevated when women see the possibility of returning to work and re-establishing what they once had.
When a woman takes the courageous step to embrace life’s moments once more, there are certain unspoken expectations that come into play.
The first involves her family’s time and unwavering support, forming a crucial foundation. The second revolves around the availability of unbiased professional opportunities, ensuring her path is defined by her skills rather than preconceived notions.
Lastly, the aspiration to establish a harmonious work-life balance that not only benefits her but also radiates positivity to all those around her. Amidst all these aspirations, the key ingredient remains an unwavering belief in her potential, serving as the driving force behind turning these expectations into reality.
No matter the cause for taking a break, women consistently possess the opportunity for fresh starts, as they excel in finding equilibrium. Yet, to embark on these new beginnings, their support system becomes vital – be it their spouse, parents, or even their employers.