I know how it feels to be working 9-5 and dreaming of an alternative. When I got to the breaking point, instead of leaving impulsively (and I wanted to), I used my commute time and the money I had coming in to study for a degree so I could change careers.
You don’t have to make a dramatic change though. You can negotiate changes to the job you’re in now. Present a proposal to your manager, asking for a trial period to show that the model will work. Get support from HR – more and more companies want to be seen helping their employees achieve a better work-life balance.
Many women successfully do their job in four days instead of five and that extra day can be so valuable for you to take care of yourself, work out and catch up. Similarly, one day working from home can make a huge difference. For me, not having the commute and going for a run on my lunch hour was a breath of fresh air. There is also the option of splitting a role into two part-time jobs, allowing two capable women to have the hours right for them and share a decent salary.
Breaking out of a corporate career can be frightening, but it can also be essential for your health. You can become a consultant in your area of expertise and find freelance work (with the potential for part-time employment) at an excellent rate of pay. It’s a matter of being focused on what you want and going out there to get it. Network, tell people you’re looking, and update your LinkedIn profile, including your portfolio and references. Job offers have come to me that way.
Whether you need to make a change out of necessity or desire, know that it is possible. Having the vision and believing in it is a huge part of the process. I envisioned teaching at my local university. I wasn’t sure exactly what I would teach and how, but I just got a job there.
About Our Author
Rebecca Steiner is a freelance writer, teacher, healer, and mom to three young boys. She believes that when women support each other and share their wisdom, greatness happens.