This week, I read a wonderful and very thought – provoking article in The Atlantic Monthly. The author of the article, Anne – Marie Slaughter, recently left a high ranking foreign policy “dream job” to focus on her family and to return to her academic career. In her article, she explores the problems with the “You can have it all” message that is being promoted to young women (and men) when it comes to combining careers and family life. That message leaves many young people feeling confused because when it comes time to “do it all” they wind up feeling at odds with example set by the generation before us, in which many parents chose to sacrifice family time for career advancement.
In her article, Anne – Marie Slaughter points to the ability to set one’s own schedule as an important part of balancing a career and a family. She was able to set her own schedule most of the time during her academic career, before she took a position in Washington, D.C.. During the time that she was in charge of her schedule, she was able to enjoy a successful career and be the type of parent that she wanted to be.
Home – based professionals have the ability to set their own schedules. This makes the home – based professional life, whether through business ownership or a job that permits home – based work, well suited for people who want to combine career success with family life. In her article, Anne – Marie Slaughter mentions in her article that our work culture as a whole is more office – centered than it needs to be, in light of emerging technologies that make working from home a viable alternative. She discusses ways in which businesses can become more family – friendly by incorporating home – based work.
Home – based work and home – based businesses are a means by which people can work towards achieving a balance between work and family. My home – based businesses keep my mind and my skills sharp so that when it is time for me to devote more attention to my career, I can jump right in. That said, you won’t catch me sending resumes out to law firms in hopes of becoming their next new associate. I’ll keep my own law practice, but I will grow it bigger and serve more clients. The same goes for my writing business – I will simply grow it from the small scale business that I currently operate. With either business, I can advance it as far as I choose when the time is right.
Photo by mzacha on morguefile.com.