Tag Archives: ambition

Lady with a baby coming through…

Having just come off the back of two maternity leave roles, it gave me pause to reflect on my maternity leave experiences.

I’d had ownership of my job for three successful years when it was time for me to go on maternity leave. I soon realised that I must let go of control and pass on my knowledge as much as possible because once you’re gone, there’s nothing you can do.

Honestly, after I left, I was too busy keeping a small human alive to even think about what was happening back at work, let alone worry who was organising the next conference.

When I came back from maternity leave, I realised that the world had kept spinning without me and my replacement had actually improved some of the processes. My worry about not having a job to go back to was quickly allayed when she went on maternity leave herself.

But then I discovered that I actually didn’t want me old job back anyway. In a strange twist of fate, having a child actually gave me the ambition to have a career, not just a job. I figured that if I was spending time away from my daughter, I better be doing something that was worth it.

And so I made moves towards loftier career goals and took a maternity leave contract role in a company that would expand on the skills in the areas I wanted to work in. I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of other strong career women there who supported me through my learning process and taught me that confidence is not a dirty word.

I learnt that self-belief is not arrogance, but ego can be weak and a sign of insecurity. I was also taught that it’s ok to be selfish and not selfless in order to get where you want to go.

Once my maternity leave contract ended when the mother returned, I took another maternity leave role from someone who had been in her job for over a decade and I think was freaking out, trying to control the only thing she could with the uncertainty of her first child on the horizon- her job.

And we all know better than that now don’t we?

Both the maternity roles I took gave me different opportunities and experiences, but I can honestly say that I am now done with stepping into someone else’s shoes, no matter how shiny they are. I’m ready to have this job of my own again in a new role that is mine for the taking.

Related posts: Work, work, work, Money vs Happiness, The hunt, Pride vs The Fall

Kicking goals

My first life goal was to travel to every country in the world. But when my dad’s friend told me he was fifty and not even close, I thought that this goal may be impossible.

When it was time to choose a job, I felt like there were too many options and failed to choose definitively as a result. I started in print production, tried architectural visualisation, was an Executive Assistant and dabbled in PR before I fell into events.

I am not one for career goal setting. My most hated question is still “where do you see yourself in five years?” I am more of a doer than a manager and never aspire to manage anyone except myself.

I once read an Anthony Robbins book about excelling and goal setting- visualisation and making a plan. Some of what he said made sense and I pictured myself as a travel writer working for the Lonely Planet and living in San Francisco with my pet Labrador.

Mr. Robbins said anything was possible, but maybe he wasn’t thinking about the difficulty of getting a green card at the time. I also consider myself a realist, so found it pretty improbable that everyone in the world can be successful as he claimed.

My parents weren’t career people either. They worked to live which meant a house and enough money for the next holiday. As a result I have no pressure to earn money and many great travelling memories.

It didn’t occur to be ambitious, plan to own property or get married. I am not much of a consumer either. I don’t buy designer handbags or keep up with fashion. I never really think further than booking the next trip overseas.

I heard someone say the other day that if you have low expectations, they are fulfilled- so perhaps that’s why I am content. I don’t feel the struggle to reach goals in work or life or to have things.

Popular culture teaches us that we should pursue our goals to the expenses of all others, stepping on anyone or anything that gets in our way. We have to sacrifice everything for our ultimate goal and make ourselves heard.

My ultimate goal is to be a columnist, publish a book and continue travelling the world. But are these goals realistic? And if so, what am I doing with a day job? Should I be putting all my skills and resources into travelling and writing this blog, in the hope that someone will love my travel writing and want me to be a columnist or publish a book, ignoring the fact that I still need to earn money to survive?

I guess what I am getting at, is trying to find the happy medium between making your goals happen and living in the real world.

Let me know when you have the answer ok?

Related posts: USA, 1990, Top 5 Wildlife to Spot in California, I first started traveling, The Seven Year Itch, By special request, TV Replays and Movie Marathons, All Creatures Great and Small, Relationships: My five (per)cents worth, I first started writing