What A Week, I Resigned! – In Search of Life-Work Balance

What a week it has been, one of massive decisions, completely life altering decisions and you know when you make them things are never going to be quite the same as they once were.

To give you an understanding and put this all in context I will give a brief summary of how I got to this point. When I was a lot younger and when people used to ask me “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, I would respond with “I want to be a CEO”. I’m quite sure I had no real concept of what a CEO was but what I do recall is understanding the CEO to be at the top and they managed people. Now, all these years later and about 10 years into my working career ( I am close to turning 30) I had found that indeed I was in the process of working my way up the corporate ladder, full of responsibilities, managing people, building business relationships and negotiating complex contracts with some of the worlds largest mining giants.

Particularly being a woman in mining I always felt I had more to prove, but I held my own along the way and rose to the challenges set before me. Now to tie this into my quest to “Get Up The Duff” per-say, I have found myself questioning my commitment to both what I give to my career and my personal life challenges. I never expected to have such long term difficulty getting pregnant and for most women it is never really a question of career or lifestyle balance when trying to conceive, usually you get pregnant and then work out the rest taking into account your standard time off for maternity leave and then back to it.

We have been trying now for 2 years, and I found myself questioning how much influence my job was having on my health and overall wellbeing. I can usually tolerate a lot, including stress and to date I have juggled my responsibilities as a manager along with my desire to be a mother. But recently it all came to a crunch. The reality of IVF hit me and I soon realised I needed to make some massive changes in my life in order to achieve what I long for… To be a mum.

After so much internal deliberation, writing pro and con lists, talking over my hypothetical scenarios with just about anyone who would listen and procrastinating for weeks on making a decision…. I finally did. I did it, I stood up for me and what I want out of life and chose lifestyle and balance over my job. I resigned!

Making the decision was so much harder than accepting that I made it and getting on with it. My boss was completely understanding and supportive of my choice, in fact she gave me so many words of wisdom and advice that I felt like my resignation resulted in a free counselling session, one I would not forget. She told me that its ok as women to stop, take a pause on our careers, enjoy what life has to offer and embrace the desire to both wanting to be a mum, and then finally being one. She said my career will always be here when I am ready but my opportunity to be a mum is presenting right here in front of me now.

IVF is my next challenge. It’s my journey the way I chose to do it and for me I needed to let go of the old me, the career driven woman determined to take on the world to instead find that other part of me that can balance my physical, emotional and mental wellbeing to and be the best of myself through this process. Now I can’t say I won’t work, I just chose to find a position that will work in with my life rather than fitting treatments and travel for IVF into my work schedule. Maybe working from home part time or to be the local check out chick! All I know is its not about the money for the first time in a long time, instead it just needs to be a job that allows me to leave work at work.

So now I am on the job hunt, I finish in a months time. I also have to complete all the final tests for the IVF clinic this month with the aim to start our first cycle in November. I am both excited for the new opportunities to come my way but also nervous at letting go of life as I knew it.

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