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 Post subject: Jobs for the girls.....
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:21 pm
Posts: 316
For many of our DC on this forum its options time, which inevitably leads to talk of careers. My DD1 came home last week declaring that she was going to "Harvard Law" having had a careers talk. Once I'd finished choking on my coffee, I managed to ask her how this had come about. It seems that her friends had been talking about "Legally Blond" and she thought that Harvard Law sounded good :shock:

Anyway, we then had a brief discussion about her other views on careers and I found myself muttering about considering "family friendly" options as well. Now I want all of my children to feel as if they can take on anything and win and ideally they should be able to advance in any career they choose and still "have it all" (hate that term by the way.) BUT in the real world, if you want to have a family some way down the line, it's very difficult to be chief exec of Goldman Sachs and still see your family at times other than weekends.....Now I know that applies to men as well as women and there are more stay at home dads etc etc but in my experience it is still women who GENERALLY have to make that choice.

So, is it wrong to suggest a career now which may give you easier options 15 years down the line or should we be suggesting the sky is the limit and deal with any compromises if and when the need arises? (By easier options I mean still being able to work in the same field but part time, taking a few years out and being able to go back to same area of work etc)

I wish I knew the answer :?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:45 am 
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The answer is simple, aim high, if that is managing director of Goldman Sachs then go for it, and when it is time to have a family she can worry about whether to dedicate herself to her career or to the family, women have enough barriers in the workplace so dont start filling your DDs head with worries about this at such a young age, many career women dont have kids until they are well into their thirties or even forties so she has a good 10 or 15 years of career befor she has to worry abour babies.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:58 am 
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You only have 10/15 years of a career before you need to start thinking about babies if you can concieve easily.

Fertility starts dropping drastically after the age of 30 and even more so after the age of 40 (I had my last baby aged 40 :D ).

That being said, I wholeheartedly agree with the rest of your statement guest 201, even though I instinctively want to say noooooooooo think of the babies!!!

It's so hard being a woman sometimes :cry: (except for clothes shopping :lol: )

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:19 am 
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What is the best time to have a baby:

Fertilty and Energy = 20 -30
Maturity and Career 40-50

mmmm don't match...

Fertility is the great barrier - have referred lots of women for fertility investigations in their late 30's - left it late because of well planned career and then much distressed when the well planned family didn't come along. One thing that could not control.

Women change hugely when they have kids (for the better I think) and workplaces should be enriched by this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:37 am 
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I agree with a significant part of all of the above responses. However I work in an industry (law) where I have seen so many high flyers devote so much of their young lives to try to reach partnership status (regular all nighters, weekends etc) to eventually drop out completely when they start having families.

This is not because they necessarily want to be full time stay at home mums but because it is nigh on impossible to return to the role part time (particularly if your specialism is transactional). So many of them have said that if they had their time again they would have qualified into an area of law that was less intensive and possibly more open to "fixed hours".

It's a difficult choice, but one I think at least worth thinking about at the outset of your career :?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:58 am 
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Location: Berkshire
I have often wondered about this.
I am a chartered accountant. I was at uni for 4 years (3 for degree, 1 for post grad to become 'relevant') then studied while working for 3 years to qualify. Once qualified I got married and left to have my children. While they were small I was at home most of the time , sometimes doing the odd part time job (nothing to do with being an accountant at all). When my youngest was 7 and my older 3 were at secondary school, I went back to work in a finance environment. Some but not all of my colleagues are qualified...it would not be necessary to be qualified to do the job I do. Sometimes looking back, I wonder if all the study was worth it, but to be honest I wouldn't be me if I hadn't done what I did if you see what I mean. I know that others at work respect me because of my qualifications, and my children also see that I made a choice to put my children first - although part of that was probably to do with the cost of childcare which is prohibitive if you have more than one needing looking after.
My advice to all of my children is to do the best that you can in your field - we don't know what direction life will take us, my choices are a result of what has happened to me, all might have been very different if I had not met my husband, or had difficulty in having children.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:09 pm 
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2outof3 wrote:
I agree with a significant part of all of the above responses. However I work in an industry (law) where I have seen so many high flyers devote so much of their young lives to try to reach partnership status (regular all nighters, weekends etc) to eventually drop out completely when they start having families.

This is not because they necessarily want to be full time stay at home mums but because it is nigh on impossible to return to the role part time (particularly if your specialism is transactional). So many of them have said that if they had their time again they would have qualified into an area of law that was less intensive and possibly more open to "fixed hours".

It's a difficult choice, but one I think at least worth thinking about at the outset of your career :?


Oh ... I remember those endless hours that the trainee lawyer boyfriend worked..... pizzas at 0200 I seem to remember.

Agreed - the main problem is flexibility which is lacking is so many fields - partic certain areas of law.
Advising women going into medicine one might say go for the service specialties (or GP) ... the sessional basis and absence of continity of patient care make it easier - by this I mean anaesthetics, radiology etc. However the opportunity to have a reasonable part time career in these only comes rather late .. after lots of slog. General practice do-able genuinely part time (and flexibly) about 5-6 years after qualifying


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Just to add a point, I had to stop work to look after my children when they were younger, I am now working part time which suits the children, I used to work as a purchasing manager and I loved my job, I now do a different job earn much less money etc. however I have a friend who has a high flying career and children, I am sometimes jealous of her career, but when I see her crying because she has to travel and leave her family I am no longer jealous, in fact she often tells me how lucky I am to have made the choices I did. What I am trying to say is that the grass is often greener on the other side. When you dont have a family (children)you should live life to the full because you may find that when you do have children you simply dont want to have that high flying career any more. Just to add my sister works in Portfolio management in a very large international bank and has managed to combine a very successful career with having 4 (yes 4 )children. Companies are becoming more flexible about working hours and working from home. My advice is live for the moment, and if possible look for a "stay at home husband" who can cook like Jamie Oliver


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:21 pm 
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This is related tothe subject in hand, but a little at a tangent to it:

On Jeremy Vine today they've been discussing an Indie head teacher who went back to work 7, yes, SEVEN hours after the baby was born. She took the baby back in to work with her as she thought this was setting a good example.

I know I want my dd to do as well as she possibly can/wants to do, but at the expense of her children????? I don't think so!!

We all know it's not easy to have children and work, we've all been there, got the T-shirt, written the book, made the film oh yeah, and actually lived it but blummin 'eck there's got to be some middle ground. No-one can have it all - if they think they can they're sadly deluded.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:54 pm 
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Snowdrops wrote:
On Jeremy Vine today they've been discussing an Indie head teacher who went back to work 7, yes, SEVEN hours after the baby was born. She took the baby back in to work with her as she thought this was setting a good example.

When I worked in advertising it was like this. Terrible one upmanship. Almost a race to get in first. One woman was seriously p'd off because she had her child late on a Friday and had to wait a whole 2 and a half days before she could go rushing into work. Silly.

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