Group Discussions

Career aspirations

  • Here's a question for all of the mom's out there that work in a corporate or office environment:

    Do you see your career as something you do to pay the bills or do you have dreams of advancing your way up the corporate ladder?

    If you do dream of advancing your way up the corporate ladder, what, if anything, is holding you back from doing that?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KathyHowe on 17th November 2007
  • I do not work in a corporate environment yet, but I really hope to. As far as a job, in some ways, it's terrible of me because I tend to be a workaholic , but I take pride in my work and am proud of my accomplishments so I would never be happy at a job that "just paid the bills". However, being a single mom, I already feel like I will let my chilis hold me back until they are older just because I won't have the flexibility of extra hours and the struggle of day care since I just don't have the same options that married families have. I just remind myself there is plenty of time for me to pursue what I really want when the chilis are grown.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by snowleopard on 18th November 2007
  • Hmmm...what is stopping me? That is a great question.

    I am very skilled at my profession. I am crossed trained throughout the company.I have passion for my job. (Which is hard to come by in the Insurance business LOL) Why do I NOT hold a "senior-level" position?

    I think-- I kind of figure it is because I am nice.

    Im serious though, I try to do everything I can to be nice to people. I think Im afraid that I wont be thought of as "nice" if I am aggressive. I really dont want to be "the" bitch at work you know?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Crystal on 20th November 2007
  • Hi Kathy--thanks for your message!! I am still learning how to navigate the site, so I couldn't figure out how to reply--although I kept hitting reply? But I'll get it.

    Crystal--I am the same way--I am a very hard worker, but I'm very, very passive and absolutely refuse to be a bitch--and definitely don't want to be perceived as one--to get what I want in any area of my life--even when sometimes I should really be able to put my foot down. :P

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by snowleopard on 21st November 2007
  • This question is very timely for me.

    I have always been one of those women who feels very defined by her career, but I've only recently realized that I DO want to climb the career ladder.

    I'm a mechanical engineer at a big engineering firm, but I never really set my sights much higher than middle management. I think I'm mostly what's holding me back, although it's definitely not because I'm too nice like some of the rest of you. I always speak my mind at work, and I've had managers say I do a good job at that sort of thing.

    Like Snow, I've been letting my children hold me back. I am married, but my son was two when I graduated college. I was 21, so it was really weird for me. . .my peers were all young go-getters and I wanted to be that way, but I had to do daycare drop-offs & pick-ups and spend nights and weekends managing a household. At the time, my husband worked 12 hour shifts and went to school, so he wasn't much help.

    Now that I"m nearly 30 and my kids are 10 & 3 and my husband's business is steady, I've realized I'm ready to jump on the fast track. I know I won't be happy as middle management or on the technical side. I am watching other old high school friends (who were not as driven as I was back then) become super-succesful, and my competitive spirit is being re-ignited. I just can't figure out how to get moving on the ladder that after all these years of holding myself back. Maybe I just need a big poster outside my cube: "I'm available. . .put me on the superstar track."

    Actually, I'm thinking of working with a career coach. Just have to decide if it's worth the $$.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 21st November 2007
  • Hey Alison...I would say skip the poster and go straight to your manager and tell them "I'm available. . .put me on the superstar track."
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KathyHowe on 21st November 2007
  • I used to dream of rocketing up the corporate ladder. And then I had kids. In journalism, it's not about what you've done, it's about what you've done lately.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 21st November 2007
  • Kathy,

    You are right. . .that would be the logical action. But I think my manager has already made it pretty clear to me that I'm not one of his stars. He didn't hire me, and I think we have issues. . .I'm not trying to whine or make excuses (although I am). I am just stuck in this limbo now of trying to figure out what I really really want before I go trying to get it.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 27th November 2007
  • wow this is a great topic - thanks KathyHowe!

    i am facing this too - i am trying to move up within my organization, but there just isnt much wiggle room. the few positions that become available seem to go to the squeekiest wheel who has been waiting longer than me...

    however! i have done exactly what KathyHowe said - my manager is WELL aware of my aspirations and we are working together to get me there. he is awesome the hard part is there just isnt that much obvious opportunity. sometimes it takes getting to know a lot of other people in your company and letting them see your value in areas other than the small glimps they see.

    you never know what networking will do for you! a lot of times there are discussions about creating positions or taking some project or situation in a new direction and if you know someone in those discussions, your name can get brought up as someone who can make it happen!

    so while getting your boss on board is a great step - i would suggest also seeking out a mentor in a position you ultimately want and trying to get to know and showcase your multiple talents to other senior managers!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 28th November 2007
  • oh! and also dont be afraid to look outside your current company. sometimes just looking around and talking to others gives you new ideas for how to implement change in your company. or just a boost of 'yes they are all crazy and i need to get out of here!' LOL
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 28th November 2007

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