I am a woman in business. I am an innovator. I am an advocate for people and change. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend. I struggle. I stress. I worry. I question myself. I question my decisions. I feel empowered and stifled all at the same time. Did I mention I am a woman in business? Most days I would question this post and whether the content would be misconstrued. After reading Inc. Magazine’s article entitled 3 Tips for Women Who Want to Lead, I felt compelled to write. This was heightened by the regular topic of conversation at YouEarnedIt around happiness at work. What does happiness mean to me as a woman in business, and how do I achieve true happiness each day?
Happiness at work is the slight pressure and empowerment I feel to show up each day and to give every ounce I have to give. I have this annoying fear of settling in and easing my way through each day. I want to explode at work, look around the room at the amazing team and family we are building at YouEarnedIt, and ask each other, “How did we do that??” I want to know that my children think I am Superwoman to them because of my ability to be the mother they need each day. That makes me happy.
In the article, Jimenez challenges women to resist the urge to conform to today’s standards; to think forward five, ten, or twenty years when kids are gone and the marriage potentially didn’t work. Wondering “what if”, she writes, should push us to fight for our dreams in business. This recommendation stopped short of the real issue for me as a woman in business. Having to worry about 20 years down the road and all the things I might miss out on is likely the one thing that causes the anxiety, the stress, and depletes my personal happiness at work. Happiness is having the comfort and confidence to figure it out day-by-day. Knowing that I am in an environment that allows me to give what I want to give, and take what I need to take based on the moment lights me up.
“Owning your Choice” was another tip offered by Jimenez. She urges women who choose career advancement and entrepreneurship over motherhood to stop making excuses for others and own the choice. This triggered my next thought around what “happiness at work” means to me. As a mother, an entrepreneur, and a woman in business, happiness is knowing I don’t have to choose one over the other. I am lucky, and have been throughout my career, to be surrounded by people who want to break the mold; people who either know how to partner with me to remove barriers, to look above misconceptions of women in the workplace, and trust in me to make it a both/and choice. I will continue to pursue business and know that I can master motherhood.
At the end of the day, happiness is having this conversation and knowing that it is driving women to think of things differently; to know they can choose a leadership position in business and expect that they can be an amazing mother at the same time. Happiness is the challenge, the burst of adrenaline that comes with a day filled with every part of my world. Happiness was yesterday when I worked with the team around critical pieces of our business, walked out of the office to enjoy basketball practice for my oldest, and come home to enjoy a conversation with my husband about it all.
How do you find happiness at work? Please share your tips and your struggles with us here, on our social networks, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.