To Work or Not to Work?: 6 Dilemmas and Solutions

Work Issue: You May Make Major Career Sacrifices

In order to feel like you're a full-time parent as well as a career person, you may need to take on a job with lower pressure, change shifts, or stop working overtime so you can have more time with your family. And depending on your career, you may have to switch to a job with fewer hours, perks, or benefits. If you're used to being a high achiever, this can make you feel like you've been demoted.

The Solution: To help shrug off these feelings, take serious stock of what it means to be a top performer in your field, says Maggie Craddock, a psychotherapist in New York who specializes in career issues. You may be competing with people who are willing to work 24-7, which isn't exactly family friendly. Instead of beating yourself up, Craddock suggests brainstorming ways that you can be a valuable contributor without sacrificing time with your child. Volunteer for tasks that you could easily squeeze in on one of your nonworking days, such as attending a local seminar. You'll feel more valuable -- and your company will take note.

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