Posted by HIDDEN in New York, NY

Advice for Women Transitioning to Family Friendly Careers

There is a new women's movement away from all absorbing full time male dominated careers which take women away from nurturing and being present for their children toward more flexible, entrepreneurial and service oriented fields which give women more control over their lives and their schedules. Traditional career women are not a bad thing, however when juggling career and child, one can be seen as impeding the other -- there is a dissonance.  It is easier said than done, but here are some words of wisdom for women who want to be present for their children, whilst reaching some career goals:

1. Women have always thrived and excelled at service and it gives them a great amount of control over their lives

Options like virtual work and freelancing pay well if your skills are handy. Try to seek out clients or work a flexible job in something like  consulting where you can set your own schedule.

2. Take no boss but yourself

Need a sick day to take care of your kids? Great, send some emails and take it. 

3. Make the most per hour in the fewest number of hours which goes along
with being in a service field but can also include consulting

4. Have control and flexibility

5. Avoid working for big institutions they tend to be less flexible and
again would mean you are at the will of others

This can be tricky as the big name can mean a lot on a resumé/CV, but if you work well for your clients, you should have a long list of recommendations should you get back into the traditional workforce. 

6. The only person you should be at will of when you have small children
is yourself and even then most women need to use great self restraint
to control their ambition and desire to work harder in those early

Ambition is great, but not at the expense of your children. If you have a partner, it is best to sit and figure out some compromise for yourselves and your child regarding you career goals. In the first 0-3 years of their lives, your children need you. 

7. Be willing to go back to school

Re-training is a great tool to keep you competitive in the workforce. Get a graduate degree, finish up your undergrad, or even just gain some certifications on the side.

8. Don't do homework...meaning choose

Work where you can leave it at work which also goes along with health and
service fields. If you work in consulting, try to have an area of the house just for work and put away everything when it is done. Maybe even hire a collaborative space. That way, when you come home you can really be present for
your children

9. What you choose to transition to is already part if you whether you
know it or no

Having a child is a great time for a career shift using your skills as a guide. You can utilize your natural ability, what is in your interests or even your DNA. It may mean going back t school to build some blocks but whatever you decide comes from who you are if you are diligent enough to capture it. 

10. Remember that according to a study by, Harvard University happiness study the key to lifelong happiness and satisfaction is having satisfying relationships particularly of a personal nature which you can only have if you invest your time and are present!



Erica Komisar is a veteran psychoanalyst and parent-coach who has been in private practice for 25 years. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities and The New York Freudian Society, Ms Komisar is a psychological consultant bringing parenting and work/life workshops to clinics, schools, corporations and childcare settings including The Garden House School, Goldman Sachs, Shearman and Sterling and SWFS Early Childhood Center. She lives is New York City with her husband, optometrist and social entrepreneur Dr. Jordan Kassalow, and their three teenage children. 

Pre-order her book, Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters and follow her on Twitter @EricaKomisarCSW and on Facebook. Sign up to her newsletter here.


Oldest comments are listed first

  • Hi Erica, 

    I agree, the work life balance is so difficult and as women we are expected to do it all.  I know that I feel guilty that I can't attend every class party but I am torn between work and home.  I think that we all are.   It's so hard to find a family friendly career and I think that they are far and few between.  I am lucky enough to be able to work from home from time to time but I still have to get my work done. 

    I have guilt as we probably all do when my children want me to play but I can't because I have to get things done.  As we strive to find a balance I believe that the fact that we are asking these questions means that we are good parents and making an effort to find the balance that we need in our lives. 

  • Hi everyone.  This is all so true.  I am preparing to return back to an extremely demanding job from maternity leave and and am freaking out.  I absolutely want to transition to family friendly occupation but I feel like financially I would be starting all over again.  I also strive to find a good balance which is why I am so glad i signed up to this website because I can see that there is help out there for working moms like us

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