AT IT WITH:

DOES NOT DE­PRIVE ME FROM DO­ING GOOD”

Empowered Youth Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

PHELADI MOLEPO IS A FULL-TIME WORK­ING MOTHER AND A STU­DENT. HER PAS­SION FOR AD­VANC­ING IN ED­U­CA­TION AND MAN­AG­ING HER PER­SONAL AND WORK LIFE IS ONE OF THE SUPREME THINGS THAT CAUGHT OUR AT­TEN­TION AND WE TALK TO HER ABOUT HOW SHE TACK­LES ALL THESE DU­TIES AT ONCE.

What do you do ba­si­cally in the en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­try?

En­gi­neer­ing is a very broad dis­ci­pline. To be spe­cific I am in the elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­try. Again, elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing is broad. My­self I have been ex­posed to re­search and devel­op­ment, sys­tem devel­op­ment, elec­tri­cal de­sign and fail­ure in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

You are a mother, stu­dent and full-time em­ployee, how do you achieve your work life bal­ance?

It is not easy, but dis­ci­pline is key. I am a much dis­ci­plined in­di­vid­ual, strict as oth­ers would say. I al­ways plan my ac­tiv­i­ties for the week and break them down to daily tasks. At the end of the week I tick off the ones I com­pleted and plan for the in­com­plete ones.

If you could give your past self, one piece of ad­vice about be­ing a full-time work­ing young mother, and a stu­dent what would it be?

It would be “Never ever un­der­es­ti­mate your ca­pa­bil­i­ties”. Hav­ing been able to com­plete my Masters stud­ies, while be­ing a full time new mom and em­ployee has shown me that I pos­sess a lot of po­ten­tial. I have learnt that I should never ever doubt my­self.

What is the best piece of time man­age­ment ad­vice you have been given?

“We all have 24 hours a day and how you use it, solely de­pends on you” Although some­times I feel like 24 hours is just not enough.

Have your ca­reer goals and as­pi­ra­tions al­tered since be­com­ing a mother?

Def­i­nitely. My daugh­ter has given me more reasons why I should ac­com­plish all my goals. I wake up with pur­pose ev­ery day.

What mo­ti­vates you to keep study­ing?

I be­lieve in con­tin­u­ous self-devel­op­ment, I mean no one can ever take away your ed­u­ca­tion and knowl­edge. So I study to en­hance and build on my knowl­edge.

Does rais­ing your daugh­ter and study­ing at the same time give you any skills that you can use in the work­place?

Yes. I have learnt to man­age my time very well. I am able to di­vide and or­gan­ise my tasks ac­cord­ingly and I have seen an im­prove­ment in the work I de­liver.

Lots of pro­fes­sional moth­ers feel guilt when mak­ing sac­ri­fices. How do you deal with this guilt?

I al­ways look at the pos­i­tive side. So I tell my­self that ev­ery sac­ri­fice I make, I am mak­ing it so that my daugh­ter will have a cheer­ful up­bring­ing. I know she is still young to un­der­stand but I tell her more of­ten that she is the rea­son be­hind my ev­ery sweat. And to make it up, when­ever I am free I take her out and get her some­thing nice.

Tell us about the big­gest high­lights since you be­came a mother.

Watch­ing her grow ev­ery day is in it­self the big­gest high­light. The first time she sits firmly on her­self with­out sup­port was a wow mo­ment. When her first tooth came out, she never got sick or rest­less (like many ba­bies would), even though she used to bite me but it was such an amaz­ing phase to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to you, why is ef­fec­tive time man­age­ment im­por­tant?

I be­lieve that the only way to work ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively is to man­age your time right. With ef­fec­tive time man­age­ment you will never ex­pe­ri­ence dead­line pan­ics and you will de­liver high qual­ity work.

Many young moth­ers feel pres­surised due to be­ing un­em­ployed and still hav­ing to raise their chil­dren, what ad­vice can you give?

Do not be hard on your­self. You do not have to fig­ure ev­ery­thing out. Work with what you have and con­stantly work on im­prov­ing your life.

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