Technology, your new best friend.
There is no question that the workplace for women has changed and evolved dramatically over the past few decades and on the whole, for the better.
And whilst there has been improvement in some countries in regards to working practices for mothers returning to work, there is certainly much room for improvement. There are still many barriers in place for those mothers seeking to return to their careers, with statistics scarily high for qualified and competent women taking on roles below the level of their expertise or not feeling able to return to work at all because of company expectations and/or limitations.
Many women I speak to have chosen not to return to work because they could not balance family life with the challenges and expectations of their previous roles or that the financial costs of child care effectively meant working for very little disposable income.
Not all my clients do want to return to work but of those that do, it is the mental stimulation that is the overriding attraction rather than the financial gain.
So is it all doom and gloom – hell no!!
Whilst some traditional workplaces may be a little slow in taking up flexible practices or thinking a little outside of the proverbial box, that is no excuse for limiting ourselves.
Technology has created a myriad of ways of working that we can all utilise to our advantage and create our own opportunities. Micro businesses are on the increase and are an example of how things that may be unfamiliar to us (because being your own boss and business owner can sound scary) can start off with small and not too uncomfortable steps which can grow according to how quickly we are prepared to grow (as in business and personally!).
I know many women that have expressed a desire to; be there for their children; be their own boss; dictate their own working life; want a sense of independence and most of all, want something that is fulfilling for them, who have gone on to build successful micro businesses that not only meet their needs but also see them develop their confidence, expertise and sense of self.
Technology and mindset should be your next best friend if you are keen to develop your own work environment.
Over the past 24 hours, I have:
- Utilised Facebook messenger to discuss and look over a digital book cover with a designer based in Macedonia whilst in my pj’s.
- Participated with people across Australia via a private Facebook group in developing ideas about an upcoming project whilst enjoying a skinny cappuccino and making my way to another job.
- Been on skype and my mobile to the UK to finalise a travel itinerary whilst prepping an evening meal.
- Drafted a proposal from my sofa on my laptop (with a glass of wine in hand – which could either prove to be genius or my downfall!)
- Proofread, finalised and paid for above book cover via email whilst brushing my teeth (thank god no one was watching me then!)
My point being, that choosing how and when you work has never been more liberating and we have the ability to incorporate the flexibility we crave in our lives both in respect of time, place and most importantly, the ‘what’ of what we do. Our ‘desk’ is no longer dictated by four static legs (although I am very fond of mine), products and services can be sold without bricks and mortar and creatives no longer have to hire middle men if they do not want to.
Increasingly, the only limitation, is your mindset.
So next time you catch yourself wondering ‘if only’, remember:
- the tools to create the working/creative life you want are out there, just start putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, those small steps have become a mile…………
- Stop comparing yourself to others – they all start at point A, just like you, but everyone’s journey is unique.
- No one, but no-one, has special powers that can instantly create a successful business – it took effort, so stop thinking that you cannot achieve a, b or c because you do not have x, y or z super power. You actually have what is needed, you just need to believe in yourself.
- Nothing is final, if you don’t like what you have started or its not working, that’s fine, try something else – you’re one step closer to finding your groove.