Professional Help for Balancing Conflicts
Over the past two years, On Balance has dissected just about every angle of the shifting balance between work, family, guilt, ambition, economical self-sufficiency, caregiving and life. I have to say that getting a deluge of advice from On Balance posters is surprisingly helpful. But what if you need more, um, professional, help figuring out your particular juggling act?
Back in March Annys Shin of The Washington Post explored the new phenomenon of professional coaches who help women (and men) navigate the murky waters of raising kids and working without losing our sanity, in Work or Family? Yes. As we all know but sometimes tend to forget amidst the daily chaos, there are myriad options: working part-time, not working, going back to work, switching to a lower responsibility job, etc. For a few hundred dollars -- not much compared to a year's salary -- professional life coaches can provide perspective, data, brainstorming and impartial ears.
You can also find help and inspiration without leaving your cubicle or your kitchen computer. One good site -- on which I also write -- is my favorite MommyTrack'D, especially the Survival Guide section and Observations from the On And Off Ramps. Another is YourOnRamp, an online resource for women in career transition, providing a social network, career resources, and job listings for women on-ramping (entering) or off-ramping (exiting) their career. Co-founder and Business Development Director Hendy Dayton explains:
"Many women trying to on-ramp suffer a loss of confidence and tools and resources they really need to re-enter. While there are a lot of stories about women exiting the workforce and having a hard time re-entering, there are not a lot of solutions out there. We provide one. Additionally, one of the main reasons women have problems re-entering is that they have not maintained their currency while they are out. Our site facilitates this knowledge and networking so they remain educated, connected, and up to date on the latest lifestyle and business trends. We also serve those women who are looking to off-ramp for a period of time and want to proactively stay current."
These two sites, and dozens more online groups, life coaches and support groups, are run by moms who know all too well how hard the balancing act can be and are eager to help other women -- and men -- find the right solutions. Examples like this of women helping women is one of the reasons I find the cliches that "women are our own worst enemy," so empty. The reality is that women, in most cases, are our own best friends when it comes to supporting other women's different choices about whether to work or stay home, finding balance between work and family, breaking the glass ceiling, and getting through motherhood's many crises.
Have you ever used a professional coach to help find balance in your life? Do you have a favorite site? Has On Balance helped you? What's your formal or informal support network when it comes to balance?
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