Friday, September 10, 2010

Critical Thinking

This week I've been spending time at my Big Firm organizing and purging my office for our move to new office space. It's been a nice way to catch up with people and take trips down memory lane of old deals while Josephine enjoys our back-up daycare center.

I was a young newlywed when I started, determined to work hard and worried about not having a "plan" for my career. My advice to every young lawyer I meet is to have an "exit strategy" - primarily because I had failed to do so. Not that staying to make partner wasn't a fine goal but to consider the work experience you were getting and how to make it work for other opportunities. My only plan/strategy was to pay off my law school loans as quickly as possible (finished January 2007) and gain good work experience. I've floundered some deciding that real estate wasn't a good fit and embracing corporate finance transactional work. I worked hard because I never had too much to worry about on the home front and my brain was rewired to love the adrenaline of deal work.

Seven years later and I feel like I'm at the crossroads again. This time I have so much more outside my job that makes me who I am. It's been a good maternity leave so far and I'm happy I have a few more months with Josephine and Ned and Penny. I'm doing a lot more thinking about my career than I did when I was home with Ned and Penny and just working 100% on being a new mom.

Another career woman told me that she attended a Big Firm panel a few years ago where grown up children of women partners came in to describe their experiences. Her takeaways were: (1) Don't say you "might" be able to make an event since then the child is looking all over for you. Either agree to go and go or surprise them. (2) Never be late for pickup. My kids are so young that my working just means they are more anxious to see me and/or have meltdowns when they do. I'd be curious if anyone who had a working mom that reads this blog has other words of advice.

In the meantime my blogging may continue to be sporadic as I'm thinking and considering what my next step should be.