Being a working mom is no joke. With motherhood, comes this huge responsibility to hustle and pay the bills!! That school fees debit order hurts me the most. Most families don’t come from privilege, just looking around at my friends, almost all of our moms still work way into their 50’s and 60’s. We just don’t have the luxury to not work hard and balance motherhood with our careers.
Working for a big corporation, I have daily pressure to produce high-calibre work and deliver to my stakeholders. I then have to rush to the opposite side of town to pick up my son at school, prep supper, check homework, have bath time and read a bedtime story, then restart my laptop to carry on working or blogging.
With this said, I love my job and I love seeing the results of my hard work. It gives me a sense of purpose and keeps me sane. Being a high performer is top priority for me so I’m always aiming to maintain some of these habits of successful working moms and stay at the top of my game.
Here are some pointers for keeping your career on track when you are a working mom
Don’t make excuses, deliver as best you can:
Aim for excellence in every piece of work you do. When you make mistakes, don’t blame others. Most importantly, don’t use your children in your excuses for absenteeism from work. You may have a real emergency one day and it will be embarrassing to get caught up in a lie or not be taken seriously because of all your prior excuses.
Always learn new skills:
Study, speak to different people within your industry to mentor or coach you, attend networking events, conferences or watch a quick TED Talk after your put the kids to bed. University of Cape Town has some exceptional online courses www.getsmarter.co.za.
Don’t step over people in your quest to climb higher:
The world is a small place and you don’t want to be burning bridges. Never take credit for other people’s work. If you want to make an impact, do different things to get noticed, such as volunteering for a project in another department. It will expose you to new people and new skills and versatility is priceless.
Learn how to take criticism:
This is my biggest area of development and I really have to fight the urge to get offended when I get no-so-good feedback. What I have noticed though, is that feedback is not often meant to hurt you. Look for the value and move on.
Be careful on getting caught up in the wrong things:
Office gossip, being glued to your phone (chatting or social media) and taking extra loooong lunches every day? Not a good look!
Be open minded and accept new opportunities:
Trust your own abilities. If you’re asked to do something new, take a chance on yourself and try it out. It will build your confidence.
The good news is that the South African corporate environment is rapidly adopting the work-life-balance culture, to accommodate working moms like us. BUT we still have the responsibility to make ourselves invaluable to the companies that we work for. Never get too comfortable.
Modern Zulu Mom