Working mom wants to know how to 'lean in'

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"I am a mid-level manager and working mom. With young children at home, I'm not sure I want to aggressively pursue a promotion that would require more travel, but I don't want to close doors to future opportunities. Do you have any advice?"

First my two words are: Value and impact. When you're adding value, you rack up credits with your managers and others. The perception of your leadership contribution will place you in a position where people want to do whatever it takes for you to succeed. When you have credits, people will be more flexible and understanding.

Even though this season is one where you won’t actively pursue advancement, it is a season of developing new skills. Socialize that value and those skills so that you're making an impact and building relationships. That way, people know the kind of individual they’re working with. Then when promotion season comes, you are top of mind.

Stay relevant, stay visible, build new capabilities. Do that now.

As an aside, make sure you’re clear with everyone what your boundaries are and are not. Be very direct:  "My parameters are these . . . .  I have other responsibilities on Monday evenings and cannot work late.” Don't dance around.

Trudy Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.

Blog Author Bio

Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of The Center for Workforce Excellence and the author of four books, including the most recent, Equality: Courageous Conversations about Women, Men and Race To Spark A Diversity and Inclusion Breakthrough. She previously held senior leadership roles in the consumer goods industry. 

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