Opting in? Opting out? Have a plan!

Perhaps you saw the recent segment on the Today Show where host Matt Lauer interviewed Lisa Belkin, author of “The Opt-Out Revolution,” and several women who, ten years ago, did just that.  These women chose to put their careers on hold to raise their children and they are now attempting to re-enter the workforce.  While none of these mothers regrets her decision to leave her job – and all three women interviewed attest to just how much work it is be a parent! – they encourage women who might be considering making the choice to stay home now to have a plan.

So whether you’re in their shoes and attempting to “opt back in” or you’re a young woman who has some tough choices ahead of her, I would encourage you to think about adding a few things to your plan.

  1. Keep up with your workplace connections. You will need them when you go back , and you’ll want the adult conversation when you’re home alone with children!
  2. Continue to participate in professional associations where you have high profile volunteer responsibilities and the opportunity to keep up with your industry and industry insiders.
  3. Do some kind of paid part-time work.
  4. Keep an accomplishment log of your successes, skill development, and activities.  You are very likely a potentially better employee now than you were then, as you have evolved and matured.
  5. Consistently keep your resume updated.  You might forget these accomplishments when you are interested in going back.

Never totally opt-out.  This is important not only for your future in your career, but also for your sanity, and for the example you will set for your children.

©Copyright 2013.  Kay Fittes.  All Rights Reserved.

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