69.8 F
San Diego
Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

CAREERS TODAY — Should You put Term Limits on Your Career?

Dear Joyce: After working seven years in what most people consider very good jobs, with a child in day care, a 45-minute commute each way and putting my husband through his MBA program, I want to slow down a bit. Catch my breath. Not quit and stay home, just get off the work-go-round grind , starting now. I recall reading that you’re among the chorus advising one to line up a new job before quitting a job , my husband reminds me of that advice , but how bad would it be, really, in this full-employment environment to just give notice and think things over?

, S.L.

You’ve mentally left already. So, unless survival money is the issue, what’s keeping you? If you’re not interested in trying for a sabbatical or arranging flexible hours or telecommuting to retain a version of your present position, exhale and exit.

You’re right when you remind that I’m one of the chorus of advisers who says it’s easier to find a good job when you have a good job , because it’s true. Human nature makes us want what someone else has, rather than what no one else has claimed.

But there are always exceptions. Forget what should be and focus on what is. You know your world isn’t wide enough, plus you could be physically and mentally exhausted. By seeking resolution, you may be dodging an expensive crash-and-burn. Moreover, if you imprudently leaped into a job that didn’t work out and you were fired, you’d have another issue to deal with.

- Advertisement -

You’re hardly alone in your feelings. The thesis of a new book, “Creating Your Life Collage: Strategies for Solving the Work/Life Dilemma” by Kathy McDonald and Beth Sirull (Three Rivers Press/Crown/Random House), is that any woman who struggles to manage her career and her life risks falling prey to career wipeout, leaving gaping wounds in other pursuits of happiness , friends, family, hobbies, community and spiritual activities.

The solution, say the authors, is to adopt a concept they term a “conscious life collage.” Like creating a collage , cutting and pasting pictures together to form a theme , you choose the elements you prefer for your life and assemble those roles into your own unique life collage.

Both authors, who are very well educated, had marketing careers in Chicago before proclaiming the equivalent of “Stop the Corporate World, I Want to Get Off.” They now operate their own home-based businesses, spend more time with their husbands and children, and set aside chunks of time for volunteer work.

What I like best about “Creating Your Life Collage” is its large bank of exit techniques and survival strategies that have worked for other women. An instructive example is how co-author Beth Sirull launched her offroading career direction. Sirull held a critical position with a company in turnaround mode. In essence, she told the beleaguered president that he had a right to expect 100 percent commitment, but that she was burned out and the time had come for her to depart the premises. Sirull agreed to only accomplish vital functions, and she helped train her successor.

Her candor was risky and her honesty paid off.

You may think you’re so stressed you don’t have time to read this book. Make time. You may make choices that give you more time for the things you miss in life.

Send questions to Kennedy at Box 368, Cardiff, CA 92007, or E-mail her (jlk@sunfeatures.com). Sorry, no personal replies.

& #352; 2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate


Featured Articles


Related Articles