You’ve been thinking of going back to work or changing careers for months…maybe years. So, why hasn’t it happened? Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate, and Sex Therapist Candidate Eliza Boquin shed light on the challenges women face when deciding to step back into a career. Boquin says two motivators ignite women’s interest to reenter the workplace: dreams or necessity. Yet two powerful emotions—guilt and fear—can put the brakes on progress.
“When women want to devote time to the workplace, there’s an overwhelming feeling of guilt knowing they have all these people depending on them,” Boquin said. “Women struggle more than men with this. We are the nurturers; we are the mothers caring for everyone. Often, women lose sight of the fact that one of those people that need nurturing is you.”
Women deplete their energy sources until they have nothing left for themselves or outside interests. Yet, their dreams and goals remain. They struggle to strike a balance between family responsibilities and work, which produces guilt.
Boquin said, “I’m huge on promoting self care. One of my favorite quotes is ‘“Self-Care is a divine responsibility.”’ Boquin explains that taking care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, is really a gift to everyone because you have filled your tank and are better balanced. Boquin said that when a woman takes a withdrawal from herself, she has to make a deposit. Women need to shift their perception to realize that taking care of yourself physically and emotionally allows you to better care for those who depend on you.
“If you don’t care for yourself, you can only run on that so long before you become resentful, low energy and depressed. Then everything takes a hit. Women must refocus on rebalancing to lessen this guilt,” Boquin said.
Fear also creates barriers. “Any time there’s change, even if it’s one that we want, it raises our anxiety level,” said Boquin, adding that women need to have the mindset that an emotion such as fear comes with the territory. “Feeling something like fear is natural, it’s human emotion,” she said. “It becomes a problem when it creates limits. So you should ask yourself, am I held back because of fear? What could really go wrong? Is this fear even real? Step back and see if the anxiety is founded.”
Boquin encourages women to “go for it,” especially if they are passionate about what they want to pursue. “It’s never too late!” she said. “It may not work out completely, but that’s okay. Consider this: can I live with regret that I didn’t even try, or that I tried and it didn’t work out. And anyway, it might lead you to something that works even better.”
Boquin herself made career changes once her kids started school. One thing that didn’t change is her fashion personality. “My fashion sense is business chic and a little contemporary, yet conservative.” Her new corporate portrait, created by Photographer Shelly Porsch Chetty, www.spccreative.com, reflects that. “Shelly is lot of fun to work with. She’s very funny and warm. So, if someone is feeling apprehensive about being in front of camera, she’ll make you feel really comfortable.”
Therapist Eliza Boquin is accepting new clients at Insight Counseling LLC in Katy, Texas. She enjoys working with couples, and individually with women who are struggling to find balance in life. Contact her at 281.972.0704, email@example.com
Guest Writer: Carolyn Wilson, Wilson Writes; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nervous about returning to work? Consider these 5 tips:
1. Face your emotions. If anxiety is the overwhelming emotion, pinpoint your exact fear. Is it fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Guilt? Name it and determine if it’s based on assumption or fact.
2. Get peer support. Talk to moms who have balanced time for their families and themselves. How’d they do it? Ask for specifics, like their weekday and weekend schedules.
3. Do your research. Find out if your fear is based on wrong assumptions, bad information or lack thereof. One practical resource is the book What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles.
4. Talk with your family. Let everyone share how they feel about mom’s return to work. That includes you. Any worries? Why is it important? Reassure your family that they are still your priority. Remember that families support one another, and kids adapt to change a lot quicker than we give them credit.
5. Still struggling? Seek professional help. Schedule a session with a professional psychotherapist or career counselor who specializes in career counseling. A professional can help you process your emotions as well as provide you with additional resources for returning to work. If needed, a family therapist can also help the entire family with the transition.