Adventures in Working Parenthood

We live in a new world of work, where consistently building your skill set and adapting is absolutely essential to your success. No matter how much we wish we had guaranteed security and stability, that’s not what career paths are about anymore. We won’t be company lifers like our parents were. Change, uncertainty, and market fluctuations are the new normal. In this new reality, we have to be ready, willing and able to shift perspective and skills in order to grow and advance. And that reality, whether we like it or not, is exactly what we are facing at home with our kids. We have to get good, really good, at being leaders of our families and agents of change to find clarity and fulfillment in our work and life.

Herminia Ibarra, one of my favorite business writers, talked a lot about this in her book, Working Identity. She said that in order to navigate change, we have to risk doing new things, interacting with different people and then reinterpreting our life stories through the lens of the emerging possibilities. To me that describes parenthood pretty well. Parenting is the perfect example of a circumstance that forces us to do the unfamiliar, get good at it , then incorporate it our everyday. We can’t wait to be experts first, we have to jump in without much (if any) preparation. 

Pick a professional, intellectual or creative instinct that you have been second guessing or have convinced yourself you aren’t ready for. This may not mean wholesale career change, but rather subtle shifts that don’t require changing jobs but do entail shifting responsibilities (although that’s not easy either). Commit to taking a step toward making it happen.