How Motherhood Can Give You the Courage to Find Work You Love

How Motherhood Can Give You the Courage to Find Work You Love
Julie Houghton 4

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I remember even as a young child cringing when adults asked me that dreaded question.

And for most of my life, including the 15 years I spent working in the corporate world, I continued to struggle with figuring out what I wanted to do versus what I thought I SHOULD do.

Despite the fact that it didn’t feel like “me” at all, after college I took a job consulting to Fortune 500 companies because that seemed like a responsible thing to do. And, since everyone there went to business school, I figured I might as well too. After getting my MBA from UC Berkeley, I worked in marketing and corporate strategy in a string of what some might call dream jobs.

On paper things looked great. And it wasn’t all bad. I made some good friends. I got promoted. I had some bad managers, but I had a lot of really great ones too. But deep down, I was miserable.

I was living someone else’s version of my life.

I relied on sugar, coffee, and wine to make it through the days. I fantasized about quitting my job but had huge fears of running out of money, no matter how much we had saved. In my mind, if I took a step off the corporate path I’d ruin my resume & there’d be no turning back. Plus, I had invested so much in my career and in getting the MBA. Shouldn’t I just suck it up?

But it wasn’t just that I was scared to follow my passion. I was scared that I didn’t actually HAVE any passions. I was so out of touch with myself that I didn’t even know what made me happy or what I truly wanted out of life. And if I had a passion, I was pretty sure it was something that I wouldn’t make any money doing.

I only knew one thing for sure—the idea of quitting my job when I didn’t know what else I wanted to do seemed ludicrous. ESPECIALLY in a bad economy when I should be thankful to have a job at all.

And then everything changed.

When I gave birth to our daughter, my whole world changed. The idea of leaving her to go back to an uninspiring, stressful job was unbearable. I wanted balance—work that allowed me to live my purpose (whatever that was!) and make a difference in the world while still having the flexibility to spend time with my family.

Even more importantly, I wanted to be our daughter’s inspiration.

I didn’t want her to grow up seeing me work in “safe” jobs that left me burnt out and unfulfilled. I wanted her to learn to trust herself, not follow someone else’s definition of who she should be.

I got a coach. I learned how to stop worrying about who I was supposed to be and pay attention to who I was. I learned how to move forward even when I was scared or the path seemed uncertain. I saw that I could have a big impact on the world while still maintaining a sense of freedom, balance, and ease. And that I could have fun at the same time.

On my journey to rediscover myself, I realized that I wanted to help other people do the same. In my work now as a life and career coach, I have helped dozens of women find the courage to find and do work they love. And in these next few weeks I’ll be sharing tips here for how you can do that as well.

So if you feel stuck, uninspired, unaligned, scared, drained, overwhelmed or all of the above,

If you know you’re meant to do something more, but you don’t know what it is,

Or you have some idea about what you want, but you don’t know how to get there,

If you want to do work that feeds your soul and makes you feel ALIVE,

Then know this: it is possible. You are in this place for a reason. This is one important step in your journey to become the person you’re meant to be.

In my next series of blog posts I’ll be sharing specific tips and exercises to help you get unstuck and take the first steps towards finding work you love! Stay tuned!


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