My day usually begins with a good-morning snuggle with my six-year-old, Belle. She is the best alarm clock ever. After I get up, I balance between getting myself ready and getting my children ready for the day. When everyone is finished, my husband Jeff takes the kids to school and I head off to work.
Being a mom and a professional has forced me to adjust my life plan. As a woman, my career path is not as linear as most men’s. I have to accommodate not only my schedule, but the schedules of my children. Luckily, today’s workplace is far more accommodating than in the past , but to get the most out of your work situation you have to be savvy.
Choose your Field Carefully
Before you decide on a direction, do your homework. Ask around. Does your target industry offer flexible schedules? Does the company you want to work for offer telecommuting options? With all the technology options available, it is easier than ever to make a non-traditional schedule work. Many companies realize offering innovative scheduling options to all employees creates more stability in their organization. However, getting the best situation will be easier if you know ahead of time what is offered.
Once you finally find the company you want to work for, it is time to negotiate your terms. Stating your terms up front will make for a better working relationship later. That means you need to know exactly what you want, what you are willing to give up and when you need to walk away.
When negotiating, it is recommended that you set the anchor; give the starting point (make it reasonable). Then work on framing your argument. You know why you’re worth what you want, so outline your points clearly, concisely and persuasively. Focus on what you can do, or currently do, for the company, rather than what they can do for you. Finding mutually beneficial positives makes you look like a good investment and will strengthen your ability to help them see things your way.
Pat Katepoo, founder of workoptions.com, offers all kinds of tips and articles that enable women to negotiate well for flexible work hours and time off. Check out her site for more tips and ideas.
Create a Support Network
We’ve all heard that old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” While that is true in business, it is absolutely vital for moms. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, it is impossible to be everywhere at once. My mom network makes being a mom a whole lot easier. They back me up and I back them up. My mom network makes the crazy, calm. They are an invaluable group of fantastic women, and I couldn’t do what I do without them.
Don’t have a mom network? Create one. Get to know your children’s friends. Connect with other moms on the soccer field or at dance recitals. If you’re too busy to meet people face-to-face, find a support group online. Websites like mom4profit.com and bluesuitmom.com create online communities with information specifically for busy businessmoms and mompreneurs. You can also check out babystepz.com for support and a community of mothers.