Sunday, April 7, 2013

Management to Motherhood: Introduction

Ultimately, I feel I am called to motherhood, but I'm still a long way from it! I've always been ambitious and ready to move on to the next stage of life: in sixth grade, I was ready for high school; junior year of high school, I was ready for college; junior year of college, I was ready to be married. I'm not sure I was actually ready, but I had a strong desire to leave behind the current situation and embark on a new journey with new challenges.

My past ambitions have just required more time before they inevitably happened, but that marriage thing still eludes me. Instead (out of necessity and a refusal to be supported by my parents who had already done so much for me) I got a job and have shifted my ambitions towards something I can more directly control: my career.

Although I never really wanted to be a working woman, it does have its benefits:
  1. I get to use the problem-solving skills from my years of schooling. My parents paid lots of money (and I ended up with lots of debt) to give me a top-notch education. Without an outlet to employ those skills (ha! literally), all the years, hard work, and expenses wouldn't amount to much.
  2. I contribute to the greater good of society. It's satisfying to see my effort pay off in improving the efficiencies of my team and my company as well as contributing to the success, happiness, and relationship of the clients with whom I directly interact. I never intended to impact an organization, as the contribution I've wanted to make was along the lines of raising kids who would improve the world, but it has been a fulfilling detour.
  3. I get paid! Having a paycheck every month and job security in a growing industry gives me the freedom to live comfortably and without worry. I paid back the above-mentioned debt (something I considered my responsibility and not that of my future husband). My thoughts have turned towards questions like, "Which causes do I want to support?", "How do I effectively tithe?", "How much do I put away for retirement?", "What can I do for my friends?", and "What trips/adventures are up next?". (If  you have thoughts on any of these, send them my way!)
  4. I bill my university for the work I do now. (This is a small satisfaction, but a satisfaction none-the-less.) One of my clients is my alma mater, so each month they get an invoice for my help. After spending so much money going to school there, I enjoy seeing them contribute to my salary now, even though I live a thousand miles away. We may just come out even one day! (Side note: I really enjoyed my time in school and am appreciative of all the learning and opportunities while I was there. I don't have a vendetta of any sort. From a purely financial standpoint, it was just a lot of money!)
  5. I get to travel the country for free. Business trips take me to many locations: some exciting, others mundane. My favorite series of trips was to Hawaii, Alaska, and Las Vegas within a three-month period. I have seen cultural stereotypes first-hand (a fun experience for me) and have gotten a chance to catch up with friends scattered across the states. Most recently, trips to New York and DC have included work-free weekends spent in the company of holy women who I am honored to call my close friends. Work travel gives me an excuse to visit friends I otherwise may not have the time to see.
  6. I learn new things all the time. Through my interactions with smart and knowledgeable people, I've encountered so many new concepts that have challenged me to become a better professional, a better person, and a better world-citizen. I've taken an interest in various business topics, have read numerous books and articles on wide-ranging subjects, and have analyzed how others' experiences could improve my immediate surroundings.
  7. Management prepares me for motherhood (or so I hope). I manage five employees, who I think of as my "kids". They all came straight out of college, so I do a lot of initial expectation-setting in the working world. I help set their direction, find their passion, build their discipline, and put them on a path to make good decisions, much as I see mothers do for their own children. Management has its ups and downs, as I am passionate about mentoring others to grow them into their best selves and I also feel their pain as they struggle. There are great rewards when I can sit back and watch what they accomplish on their own after working closely with them over a year or two.
This last benefit, which I'm calling the concept of "Management to Motherhood", is the part of my career that I want to analyze, share, hear thoughts from others, and remember later in life. I've always heard you're never really ready to be a mother, but I'm going to do what I can to prepare myself through today's lessons. To that end, I'll be writing new posts about my adventures with team members and analyzing how they relate to motherhood. Ideally, I'd have a separate thread of these posts, but I haven't figured out how to separate/catalog them without creating a whole new blog. If you have ideas, let me know!

In the spirit of sharing insight, I found this blog post to be a positive influence on my outlook for the "not-yet married" life. Enjoy! Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married

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