A career break shouldn’t break your career.

Do childbearing career breaks stunt your growth?

We’re in the thick of Q2… Are you still gyming or have you given up the 6am wake ups already? Unfortunately, I don’t have a choice. If you haven’t already guessed, this months instalment is all things career growth and parenthood. Circling back to my initial point, I don’t have much say in the time I wake up in the mornings as my beautiful gifts in child form are completely unpredictable.

I am a wife, mum of 2 under the age of 3, and a manager in the financial space. I spin a lot of plates in my personal life doing a plethora of roles that I am not paid for, but that’s parenting for you, no days off!

If you’ve been a follower of TellMeElleCee and the “Things they didn’t teach us at school” journey, you’ll know that I am an avid 5 Year Plan advocate.

You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. If you know, you can rope in others and seek the relevant support as and when needed.

Back on topic, the lovely career break. Sigh… Unfortunately the first thing that sprung to mind when I fell pregnant last year was my 5 Year Plan, career and what I was going to do. With that being said I worked right up until my due date and returned to work when my princess was only 4 months (madness, I know!).

So… Do childbearing career breaks stunt your growth?

Yes – It’s simple maths. If you break whilst others are still accelerating it is simple math. Those still moving whilst others have stopped will move further ahead.

No – Although you stop for a period of time, it’s not what you haven’t been able to do that matters, but what you do when you put your foot back on the gas that does. Jump in with both feet, use those transferable skills to your advantage.

I once read that parents are the best hires as they simply cannot fail; they have too much riding on them to give up, are epic multitaskers and simply get the job done!

To all my Parents. Culture, flexibility and diversity is everything! Keep this in mind when you make your next career move…

Life is extremely short. I often speak to colleagues and friends in the industry that suffer severe parental guilt because of a lack of work-life balance. Our children are not going to be this age ever again and by the time you get to a place of “calm” or your desired pinnacle point of success, it may be too late. Your children will get older, lose interest or even worse; choose to continue the vicious cycle clinging on to the example you set.

There’s a lot to think about, mouths to be fed and job satisfaction to be had.

Ultimately do what is right for you because you will never get this time back and if growing in your career means neglect or mental harm, then maybe it’s not all it’s cracked out to be…

If it doesn’t happen now, it never will…

Sometimes we put an irrational amount of pressure on ourselves to achieve our financial goals. When we aren’t feeling at our best, we beat ourselves up, especially when we unconsciously compare ourselves to our ‘age mates’ which at times can feel like they are winning this invisible race society has created.

Make no mistake, I don’t question the happiness of those people who have posted their version of success on social media (which at times could be glitter not gold) however, what I question is our ability to asses whether we are allowing said news to contribute to the ridiculous amounts of pressure we put on ourselves, all because:

“I’m almost *insert age here* and I’m not married”

“I’ve been working my butt off, but can’t seem to save” 

“I Should be further ahead in my career at my age”

“I should be buying my 1st home by now”

“I  *insert negative self talk*

Social media has amongst other things created urgency to achieve things simply because everyone on our feeds are sharing their wins all at the same time.

Once upon a time in what we now call the dark ages (before facebook) we didn’t really have exposure to so many other ‘lanes’. Of course we would hear about other people’s successes, but it wouldn’t be so in your face.

What’s your point Joseph?! In short I’m pretty certain we as a society have become impatient. We are a generation that thrives of INSTANT gratification. 

This is by no means a message to bash social media or encourage you to go off grid, but actually the key message I want you to take away from this is to stop. Take a breather. Stop putting yourself under the wrong kind of pressure. I guess it is a longer way of saying trust the process, and stay in your lane. 

Task:
Think about the thing that is distracting you from your lane, realign yourself and go at your pace. 

P.S. the more time you spend worrying and beating yourself up the less time you are spending on achieving your dreams. You’ve got this! 

2019 Retrospective

Thank you for your views and engagement from across the globe

August 24th 2018 – TellMeElleCee was born. An introductory post was published and so the journey began!

From August 26th 2018 – Throughout 2019 a variety of posts, Mortgage industry gold and financial hacks were shared. 

The following 18 topics have been dissected and explored:

Here’s to an informative 2020…

5 Year Plan

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Reading Time: 5 mins

So today we are going to discuss the 5 Year plan and the importance of having a plan. My 5 Year plan has never failed me and I have always accomplished what I’ve set out to achieve.

When I was 16 I started my 5 Year Plan and was able to achieve every single goal throughout the years and when time seemed to be closing in on me, I attained my final goal days before my 22nd Birthday.

So let’s dive right in to it, what type of goals did I set and how did I go about achieving them?

I had my key goals and these were broken down with sub goals or you could almost call them sub tasks that would catapult me closer to the main goal.

  1. Buy a House 21
  2. Start dating and be engaged 21
  3. Pass my driving test 21
  4. Be in my career job 21
  5. Gain weight 21
  6. Overcome complexes and step out of my comfort zone
  7. Be mentally strong. If you stand for something, don’t let an institution, work or anyone shake/break that.

As you can see, my goals were pretty vague, however the older I got, the more padding I added to them and by the end of the 5 Year period, I was in a much better position than I thought possible.

Over time, my goals became SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

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  1. I completed on the purchase of my house 14 days before my 22nd Birthday
  2. I started dating at 19 and got engaged at 21
  3. I passed my driving test at 21
  4. I started working in a huge Financial Institution at 20 and embarked on my Mortgage Career
  5. I went up a dress size
  6. I overcame all personal weight related insecurities and my dress sense affirmed this!
  7. I’ve always been head strong, but I started to become apologetic about it and almost lost my own opinion and stance on given situations hence the goal. By 21 I was definitely mentally stronger and began to challenge the status quo. I stopped saying “yes” and started asking “why”?

Once I had achieved all of my goals, I began thinking about my next 5 year plan. I looked back on all that I had achieved, was extremely proud of my 16 year old self and decided to up the ambition and set new goals a few days before I turned 22. These goals will expire when I turn 26 – I have already achieved a few and am deep in the process of attaining the others. Will I make it? Yes I will!

TEMPLATE

If you’re having difficulties making goals, use the SMART guide above and break your goals down in to 7 Key areas

  1. Relationships (Intimate, family, friends etc)
  2. Investment (Buying a house, shares, business plan?)
  3. Career (Where do you want to be in 5 years? Get your foot in the field, attain relevant qualifications)
  4. Personal Development & mentality
  5. Health/Appearance
  6. Spirit, Character, Core (What do you stand for? Who are you? What are your beliefs?)
  7. Miscellaneous (Something you’ve always dreamed of)

I hope this has helped! I would love to hear your thoughts and goal attaining methods. Comment below or get in touch via my various platforms.

LinkedIn Ashanta Charm

Twitter  @AshantaLC

Instagram  @Ashanta_

5 Year Plan – Have you done yours?