I had a revealing conversation with a thirty something friend today because I recognized the chasm between our generations when it comes to how we approach working.
Three decades ago, when I was thirty something, most women who wanted careers were already well on their career path. You graduated college and/or graduate school and went to work in something that interested you: Journalism, in my case. Or maybe you fell into a job that had nothing to do with your major. You worked hard, you got raises, one job led to another, and your career kept moving forward. You didn’t love every single thing you did, every single day, but that hardy mattered, as long as you were passionate and developing your talents and career. If you had kids, they couldn’t always come first.
Other women didn’t care much about careers and became full-fledged mommies. Some went back to work when the kids got bigger but rarely had big careers because of their hiatuses. They didn’t care.
Today, many thirty something women who have worked since college, are betwixt and between. They strive to be model mommies and work on their terms, which is hard on them and on their employers. Back in the day, we hid the fact we were pregnant because we didn’t want our bosses to think we’d lose interest in our job. Pregnancy often prevented promotions. Women who put motherhood first couldn’t possibly be valuable employees.
I’m not so sure how it’s going to stack up for today’s thirty something women when they become FOF. Or for their kids. I hope I’m around to see. It’s going to be interesting.