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  • Writer's picturePatricia E. Gitt - my views on writing

The Career conundrum

I find women fascinating. Especially when they are holding down a demanding job or working toward a professional goal.

When young and first entering the workplace, decisions about a future career may be set out for you. For instance, if you are studying law or medicine, additional training will be involved.

Or, if planning on continuing your college education while holding down a full-time position, your life will be lived on a schedule.

What if your earlier life goals become your future? And, what if they include marriage and family? You will quickly learn that there are only 24 hours in any one day.

Men deal with work-life balance more directly. While this may be changing, they seem to fit their responsibilities into that 24-hour time frame.

However, as an author, my novels have placed women in a career to see how they balances life and work. Is she so driven to succeed that she has no personal life? Is her time spent balancing responsibilities of owning or managing a firm, with marriage and children? Or, is she boxed in a job and doesn’t see her way forward, and her indecision has prevented her from having a meaningful career or social life?

Let us imagine that you are writing a novel based upon your life’s experiences. And, let’s take stock of where you are now and what you would like to change.

Make a two-column list, headings to read:

Current Responsibilities / New Activities.

Now depending on your stage in life, i.e., just out of school and in your first job, or a retired empty nester, will determine your day-to-day activities. Now think of what you would like to do. Learn to play the piano. Travel. Encourage your partner to assume more responsibilities. Work for a charity. Have a wider group of friends.

Are you beginning to see the process I use in finding how my main character lives her life so when I purposely disrupt it, she has to make changes?

Back to your fictional character. Once you begin to put your thoughts on paper, you may find that one of the lists – the one of Current Responsibilities is lacking. Did you list responsibilities for a house, declining health of a parent, routines you are beginning to chafe at. One professional career consultant suggested that taking a Myers–Briggs Indicator, or a similar test, will highlight specific interests. You may find it illuminating. Using the results will draw attention to the Current Activities side of the chart, and, just maybe some of those items need to be addressed before you complete New Activities entries.

Since this is a fictional look at life, try this as an author would. An adventure where there are no rights or wrongs, just possibilities.

Have fun.

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