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Finding Time for Career Goals as a Working Parent

By Kathryn Doan, AgCareers.com

 

Career goals, family goals, farm goals, personal goals, social goals; all things that continually run through my mind. You often hear people talking about juggling balls in the air or being “busy,” but I prefer to think of my life as my choices. Circumstances in life are constantly changing, but I know I am responsible for shaping my life.

In 2014, I clearly remember my co-worker telling me that I needed to consider this: “your family was about to change from one-on-one defense to a combat mission.” It sounds silly now that I think about it, but I remember having to Google what it meant. In my lifetime I had never compared adding a child to our family to a defense strategy, however since that time we have added to our family once again. Having four beautiful children, I suppose I should take the time to look at what sort of defense analogy that one should consider, however in my life, here are a few tips:

 

 

  1. Get organized
  2. Set realistic goals
  3. Be flexible
  4. Embrace change
  5. Set and follow some ground rules
  6. Take care of yourself

 

 

As a full-time mom, working professional, that is also involved in a farm business, and enjoys volunteering– life can seem like a combat mission. But, it is important to know that this is not a battle fought alone, it is about surrounding yourself with a team of people. For me, the team is about close neighbours and a strong social network, close to home, that can help when the plan changes. It is about open communication at the workplace to ensure the work is being completed and everyone understands that pressures we all face. My husband and I have been fortunate with using local job ads to find caring and loving people to help, along with our family support; in an effort to still have time for our professional goals. But it is also about being fair to yourself, knowing there are boundaries and taking a few moments of time for yourself to recharge so you can be the best parent, co-worker, volunteer, farmer or what ever makes you happy.

 

 

Find more employment advice for your career in agriculture with the AgCareers.com  Career Cultivation blog.