You work to support the most important part of your life: your family. This doesn't mean your job has to just be about money, though. As a working parent, you can find satisfaction in your career as well as your home life. This means finding the right job, having the right outlook and managing your time correctly. If you're a new parent looking to re-enter the job market or someone who already has to balance work and family, consider these ideas for making the most of the working parent lifestyle.
Choose the Field for You
Image via Flickr by sean dreilinger
Even in a tough job market, there are still plenty of opportunities in a variety of fields. You shouldn't just settle for any position with a paycheck. If you love what you do, your job will not only provide for your family, it will also keep your sense of personal satisfaction high.
Don't just dive into the first opportunity you find. Give yourself enough time to consider several jobs.
Look for jobs through multiple channels like newspapers, online job listings, recruiting agencies and personal connections to find the role that's right for you.
Remember that you're also setting an example for your kids. Pursuing your own dreams will encourage them to pursue their own.
Find or Make a Positive Work Environment
No matter what the job is, if the work environment is negative or frustrating, your job will detract from your overall sense of well-being. Examine the culture of your current workplace or the workplaces where you interview. Is the environment comfortable? Is communication between coworkers positive and productive? How could your attitude contribute to these feelings? Some companies are known for providing good workplace culture. Reputation.com's work atmosphere, for instance, is known to be friendly but professional, while tech giants like Google are known for their in-office perks. Wherever you work or want to work, feeling at-ease in your job goes a long way to making work life satisfying.
Divide Your Time Wisely
Some jobs are more demanding than others. Regardless of how you make a living, you shouldn't devote so much time and energy to work that you can't fully participate at home. It helps to make a rough tally of how you spend each hour of your average day. If you feel frustrated in your job, the tally may indicate that you aren't spending enough time with your family or doing other things you enjoy. Don't be afraid to reduce your overtime or even look elsewhere for a less demanding job.
Check Your Dedication
It can be very disconcerting to lose the passion you once had for your job. As good as it feels to provide for your family, it's also highly valuable to find satisfaction in your career for its own sake. If you struggle to be enthusiastic for a job you once loved, take some time to recall what got you excited about the job in the first place. This can help you determine how to rekindle that passion.
Just like raising a family, maintaining a satisfying career is challenging. By making the right choices and practicing some self-examination, you can find fulfillment at home, as well as at work.
Michael Sarko is a writer and editor based out of Seattle, Washington.