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I am wondering what would be a good job to have when you're planning to start a family?

I am asking this question because my teacher wants us to know what job we want to have when we grow up. #fashion #career-paths #family #career-exploration

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Jessica’s Answer

Teaching and nursing are good careers to get into when planning on starting a family but these careers are not for everyone. There are a lot of work from home jobs and as the demographics of the workforce changes to majority millennials, there is going to be a significant change in work-life balance. But, if family is important to you, always keep that in mind. A job that would require travel and long hours at an office will be difficult. It can always be done but it depends on how hands-on you want to be with your family life. I hope this helps :)

thank u so much i will have to thing about what you said London H.

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Jennifer’s Answer

This is a great question and one that I know has come up in many forms with many of my peers over the years, although it's a subject that for many, is not as openly talked about in the workplace.

My advice here is more general, but hopefully it might be helpful to you.

One of things that had been suggested to me when I was younger was to try to keep your career options open as much as possible while still trying to maintain a steady, reliable source of income.

The cost of childcare nowadays can be sufficiently expensive (daycare for just 1 kid in some areas, especially for an infant, can cost as much as the income from one part-time job).

Since you're starting to think along those lines, now's a good time to think about what kind of lifestyle you would like to live, the type of housing situation and location you'd like to be located in, and to figure out the cost of transportation and other basic necessities. Allow yourself to brainstorm about what your ideal situation would look like, and then start to work backwards to write out, lineitem-wise what that would cost.

Then, try as best you can to find work that you are passionate about. What are your favorite subjects in school? What do you do in your spare time, outside of school, outside of any part-time job, outside of any other obligation that you might currently have? What do you do for you, not because you have to, but because you want to?

Once you've identified it, then start to think about other ways that you can start to translate those skills into certain industries. You can look up online average starting salaries for certain majors (check out glassdoor.com for certain specific industries and information on real, not hypothetical jobs) and then work backwards to see where the difference is in that potential income.

Unless you are coming out of undergrad with a B.S. degree (such as for teaching, engineering, business, or one of the allied health professions), you will have a B.A., which means a liberal arts degree. There is real strength in the breadth of skills that a liberal arts degree will help you develop, but that also tends to mean that you have to be even that much more focused and strategic on the types of career paths that you choose since there's not always such a clear, direct path like you would be more apt to find with a B.S., sometimes more technically-focused degree program. That clarity is even more important if you later choose not to go to grad school (which may or may not be as relevant depending upon which career path you choose to pursue).

A book I would recommend reading is "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg, who is the COO of facebook. In it, she said that one of the most important decisions a woman can make for her family is choosing a partner who's supportive of her career, and from what I can tell, that makes a big difference. She also presented some interesting depictions of some real scenarios that I think may happen more often than many may notice about how sometimes, women may inadvertently find themselves more apt to prematurely take themselves out of the work world in anticipation of a potential growing family and how that can sometimes affect career progression and advancement, especially if they don't end up actually having a growing family when they anticipated. She has some really insightful points of consideration that you may find helpful in examining and she talks about it in a much more open and progressive way that is not as characteristic with many employers.

There are a number of LeanIn "circles", mostly at universities, but you can take a look at their website about how to start one of your own to talk about and frame career discussions and thoughts with some of your peers. Also take a look at Marissa Mayer's work over at yahoo! & some of Mindy Kaling's commentary on what it's like to work as a female head writer for her namesake network show.

One of the considerations that had deterred me from a previous career path was that I was concerned about what extended work hours would look like and how that might affect family life when I was looking at an industry that at least for a significant period of time, involved a lot of training, very long hours and had a really high divorce rate.

However, I have since learned that pretty much wherever you work, you're going to have long hours from time-to-time, if not often, and that if you're going to have to work a lot (be it out of necessity for income or just due to the nature of the job), you might as well be doing it with work that you're passionate about and that makes a meaningful difference in your life, and hopefully pays you well enough to support you in the lifestyle you would like for yourself and those you care about. Having systems of support and reliable (& hopefully affordable) childcare prior to publicly-funded kindergarten will become increasingly important.

Should you later find that your passion lies in an industry that for whatever reason is perhaps not as well compensated as others, try as best you can to investigate alternative resources that might make a difference to help sustain your lifestyle.

A number of areas, in particular in urban environments where the cost of living is higher, have affordable housing programs based off a % of area adjusted median income, which in some areas can be really high. In particular, you want to look up and research community development programs that may hold sub-market rate housing stock.

For example, 1 in 3 Boston residents are aged 20-34 & creating more affordable housing opportunities is something the city has tried to work towards, especially as new families start to develop & might otherwise consider moving elsewhere as their space needs grow & affordability becomes increasingly important.

There are also sometimes incentives depending upon the municipality for teachers, police officers and other public servants so that they can afford to live and work in the communities that they serve. In Boston, that also includes registered artisans.

Another thing to research which isn't nearly as well known are IDA's or individual development accounts. IDA's are sort of like planned savings accounts where individuals can save towards their education, a first-time home or towards a small business. There are required financial management courses that you will need to take and they will work with you to help set up a budget and will help you identify your savings goals and then will work with you to create a plan of action. You then save for your specific goal at regular intervals, and upon reaching it, the community development corporation that you went through will assist you in making the purchase of your asset with the savings you set aside along with their planned matching. The matching amount varies by organization, but it's usually 1:1, if not better matching rate. There are caps, and certain restrictions, but in terms of starting out and trying to do what you can to help invest in your future and those that you care about, these tend to be a good first step option among many first steps.

Depending on your situation, it's more likely than not that you may need to piece together multiple funding sources to help finance your education to help you gain the necessary credentials to work in your chosen profession & the sooner you're able to develop that resourcefulness, especially as a parent, hopefully the better off you'll become.

I would also highly recommend pursuing as many relevant volunteer/internship/work placement opportunities as you're able to that are relevant to whatever career path you're most interested in, & don't be afraid to pivot as you start to evolve
& refine your interests. It's best to gain those types of experiences sooner than not so that if you learn there's a core attribute that won't be a good fit for you, you can know that right away and re-focus your attention elsewhere and pursue other opportunities that might become a better fit.

In terms of happiness and fulfillment, make sure to at least set aside some time to consciously think about and identify what your values are and what matters most to you. If you have aspirations to move past entry-level work, you'll find it's a lot easier to do that in a field you love vs. one that you only just like. And it's partially that evolvement in experiences and self-recognition that turns something from just a job into a real meaningful career, & that can make all the difference in the world.

Choosing to become a parent, and in particular becoming a good one (however that means to you and your loved ones), is one of the hardest jobs there is out there. It's great that you have the forethought to think about it so that hopefully it can become an active choice that you make when the time is right vs. a passive choice where you then have to go back and shift your focus which may be more challenging.

You can work in any profession and still become a parent; take a look at all of your friends and learn from them what their parents do for a living and ask them for advice about their careers and any suggestions on things they might have done differently, as well as reach out to your own. Chances are, they hold a variety of careers, all with their own unique mixture of pros/cons as it relates to parenting. What matters there is what your unique mixture of pro/con will be that works for your family & then just go with it from a team perspective with your partner.

One thing you may want to consider is to ask your peers, both female, but especially male, whether or not their prospective career decisions are being made based on whether or not they think they may have children in the future. My guess may be that you may find a difference there even though many of them may ultimately go on to have families of their own.

While future parenthood may be a consideration, don't let it be the only thing that you take into account when you're making an equally as important decision as your career.

Something that really isn't talked about as often, but unfortunately does happen, may be that your family plans and intentions may change, and if they do, a better question to ask yourself may be, "if I didn't have kids, would I be happy and fulfilled in my chosen profession?" If the answer is "no," and you're finding that you're heavily picking a career choice that's contingent upon having kids & if for some reason it doesn't work out, it probably may not be the best-fit profession for you & you may want to consider exploring other options.

thank you so much i loved how yyou told me about the things you said so thank you London H.