Here at High Heel Jungle, we celebrate every woman’s choice for how she wants to live their amazing life!
For some women, it’s to have a thriving family life, other’s are content to focus purely on a dynamic career. However, if you are someone who eventually wants to have both a career and a family, don’t leave it to chance.
Here is some advice from Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s brilliant book, Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children that most people are too polite to tell you.
Take heed now and it will give you the very best chance of expanding your life choices down the road:
- Figure out what you want your life to look like at 45. If you want children (and between 86% and 89% of high-achieving women do), you need to become highly intentional—and take action now.
- Give urgent priority to finding a partner. My survey data suggest that high-achieving women have an easier time finding partners in their 20s and early 30s.
- Have your first child before 35. The occasional miracle notwithstanding, late-in-life childbearing is fraught with risk and failure. Even if you manage to get one child “under the wire,” you may fail to have a second. This, too, can trigger enormous regret.
- Choose a career that will give you the gift of time. Certain careers provide more flexibility and are more forgiving of interruptions. Female entrepreneurs, for example, do better than female lawyers in combining career and family—and both do better than corporate women. The key is to avoid professions with rigid career trajectories.
- Choose a company that will help you achieve work-life balance. Look for such policies as reduced-hour schedules and job-protected leave.
- That’s an easy list to compile, but I have no illusions that it will change the world, because identifying what each women can do is only half the battle. The other half is convincing women that they are entitled to both a career and children. Somehow the perception persists that a woman isn’t a woman unless her life is riddled with sacrifice.