Have you been labelled a ‘career woman’?
You, like a number of my clients may be labelled (or label yourself) a career woman.
A woman who appears to have been career focused, is doing well and gives a lot of energy to her role. A success story of how women can have it just as good as men.
But, at the same time, you may feel like this just isn’t enough. However well your career is going, you miss the support of a great relationship.
Maybe one of these stories resonates with you:
One of my clients is convinced everyone thinks she’s still single because she devoted herself to her career. When in fact, she’d much rather be devoted to a family of her own.
I vividly remember a senior solicitor in my firm in London saying in her leaving speech that after leaving maybe she’d have time to meet someone.
So why are a lot of 'career women' single?
My views on this:
Often work is used to fill a void - if you’re faced with an empty home, you don’t mind pulling longer hours and dedicating more time to your career.
Then there’s the practical side - if you don’t have kids, but all your friends do, you’ll focus more on socialising through work and networking events and propel your career forward.
It’s a great ‘excuse’ - I can’t go dating because I’m too busy at work, I’ve not found someone because work has always got in the way. It becomes self-prophesying.
It all tends to spiral - you work more because you’re single, you’re single more because you work more.
The career/relationship paradox seems real.
There’s been a lot of dialogue on promoting equality and enhancing opportunities for women in the workplace and elsewhere. And that’s been great.
But it fails to recognise, that for most women, a loving secure relationship is a fundamental part of feeling happy and fulfilled in life. However good the career is, it will feel like something is missing.
And that’s OK.
Career and Relationship?
This ‘you must be happy without a man’ is not the whole truth. Sure, you want to build a great life for yourself and be in a good place. But it’s OK to know you’ll be happier once you find your dream partner.
Because you will be.
And you can keep your career to any degree you want. I have highly successful clients who are quite ready to drop work and become full time mums. I have others who would want to keep their career but would love a wonderful man to support them.
It’s all your choice. You don’t have to be one or the other. I’m writing this with a sleeping baby slung to my chest - there are ways and means!
But it’s easy to get caught in that trap of your identity and self-worth being linked to your job. And for your job to start defining who you are and how you behave.
One of my outwardly successful clients is slowly realising how her work identity had leaked into her lovelife, and wondering why it’s not working.
Because that’s not the true woman that she is.
You can, and should be, different sides of you in work and at home. You need boundaries on your time, energy and behaviour to be content with both.
So consider this carefully - do you need to:
Recognise and appreciate that part of you that longs for a relationship?
Set some boundaries at work to free up time for dating?
Form and connect to an identity outside of work?
Stop using work as an excuse for not finding or being in the relationship you want?
For many of my clients, their work has been the core of their identity for 10-20 years. That’s a lot of unpacking to do!
If that’s you too, we need to talk :)
Have a beautiful week ahead and don’t work too hard!!