Don’t Leave Be­fore You Leave

Suc­cess Se­cret #3

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CAREER -

An am­bi­tious and suc­cess­ful woman heads down a chal­leng­ing ca­reer path with the thought of hav­ing chil­dren in the back of her mind. At some point, this thought moves to the front of her mind, typ­i­cally

once she finds a part­ner. The woman con­sid­ers how hard she is work­ing and rea­sons that to make room for a child she will have to scale back. The prob­lem is that even if she were to get preg­nant im­me­di­ately, she still has nine months be­fore she has to care for an ac­tual child. By the time the baby ar­rives, the woman is likely to be in a dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent place in her ca­reer than she would have been had she not leaned back. By not find­ing ways to stretch her­self in the years lead­ing up to moth­er­hood, she has fallen be­hind. When she re­turns to her work­place af­ter her child is born, she is likely to feel less ful­filled, un­der­utilised or

The years lead­ing up to hav­ing chil­dren are not the time to lean back but the crit­i­cal time to lean in. Don’t en­ter the work­force al­ready look­ing for an ex­ist.

un­ap­pre­ci­ated. The time to scale back is when a break is needed or when a child ar­rives—not years in ad­vance. The years lead­ing up to hav­ing chil­dren are not the time to lean back, but the crit­i­cal time to lean in. Any­one who’s lucky enough to have op­tions should keep them open. Don’t en­ter the work­force al­ready look­ing for the exit. Don’t put on the brakes. Ac­cel­er­ate. Keep a foot on the gas pedal un­til a de­ci­sion must be made. That’s the only way to en­sure that when that day comes, there will be a real de­ci­sion to make.

No, the baby did not ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing called Boo Boo!

To know more about Sh­eryl Sand­burg’s, COO of Face­book, life ex­pe­ri­ences and ca­reer mantras for women, buy her book, Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead.

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