As A Mum Are You Unsure If You Want To Start A New Job?

  |   Patricia Tiernan

As a Career Coach, I have worked with many mothers who are frightened to change jobs for fear their next employer won’t be as family friendly and guilt-ridden mothers who feel bad for wanting their own space or career. These common fears when unexamined can lead to one feeling stuck.

Get a pen and paper and give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you should start a new job through answering these four powerful questions.

1. What is the ‘Best’, ‘Worst’, and ‘Most Likely Thing’ to happen?

We can often fixate on the worst things that could happen if we were to get a new job, for example fearing we won’t have a good working relationship with our manager, unreasonable working hours, negative financial repercussions, negative affect on family, etc.

As we get older we can greatly over-estimate threats and can have a tendency to become more risk averse. Gain a wider and more realistic perspective as to whether now is the right time for you to get a new job by reviewing the question from three different viewpoints:

  • What is the worst that could happen? Is there anything you can do to prevent the worst from happening? What would you do if the worst happened?
  • What is the best that could happen? What can you do to ensure this happens?
  • What is most likely to happen? (Funnily this is the one question, in particular, we never ask ourselves and it is often the most comforting answer).

2. What Effect Could A New Job Have On Those Dearest To You?

Part of what makes us as mothers feel stuck is the effect our decision will have on the rest of our family. Brainstorm ways that could support either option to work best for you and those dearest to you. For example, what supports, boundaries or activities could you put in place?


3. What are the ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’?

It’s an oldie but a goodie, if you haven’t done so already write out an exhaustive list of what staying the same or changing, would give you. Draw four columns, two for the pros and cons of having a new job and two for pros and cons of staying the same. Ensure your own core needs and values are also reflected when reviewing each option, for example, achievement, autonomy, independence, connection, confidence.


Imagine yourself in 20 years time looking back on your life. From this viewpoint what decision would you like to see yourself making now? What regrets may you potentially have if you don’t choose this option? If your child was to face this very same decision later in life what would you like them to choose and why? What sacrifices are you willing to make to ensure you have little to no regrets in life?

Having answered these four questions reflect on which option meets your needs best. What small steps will you take given your decision?

You don’t have to work through this alone. Gain support and accountability by working with a Career Coach

Career Coaching – Leap.

Blog Written for May 2017.