Stephanie Heckman

Archive for the ‘Multitasking’ Category

What Women Want in Life and Career

In Career, Multitasking, Public Relations, Women's Issues on March 12, 2013 at 5:35 am

Can we really have it all?

Rosie-the-Riveter

If Rosie the Riveter could do it, can we do it too?

Work and life balance seems to be a huge issue among modern women. LinkedIn recently published a blog post called “What Do Women Want? At Work, That Is. . .” The findings were released to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. The study found that two-thirds of women worldwide believe that finding work-life balance is the ticket to success. This is a marked difference from results 10 years ago in which women chose “salary,” “interesting job” and “responsibility” as their top choices.

Fortunately, 74% of women believe that they can “have it all” while 57% do not plan on sacrificing their career after becoming parents. The majority of women polled said that they would like a flexible work environment for the present or future, after having children. Only 14% of women did not feel it was necessary to have job flexibility. Fortunately for young women planning to enter the communications field, jobs can now be made more flexible through part-time telecommuting or even working from a coffee shop one day per week.

What’s changed? Some argue that perhaps the global economic crisis has inspired women (and men) to start prioritizing personal life and family over career. After all, career is certainly important but jobs can be lost at any time. Also, childcare is very expensive, particularly in large urban areas. Many couples want to cut back on the cost of childcare and dining out by working fewer hours. This also may be related to the emergence of urban gardening, crafting, sewing, knitting and cooking seen in many hip neighborhoods.

With my educational background in Strategic Communication and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, this topic is of particular interest to me. Do women experience less discrimination in public relations? Although most PR professionals are women, women in PR make less money on average and are less likely to fill upper-level positions.

By nature, PR professionals must be great at multitasking and stereotypically, women are also claimed to be great at this skill. However, public relations executive was recently named the seventh most stressful job – more stressful than journalism or working as a police officer! It makes sense that PR is so stressful: you must be constantly multitasking, planning, representing an entire organization, handling multiple jobs and preparing for crisis communications. It doesn’t seem easy to balance such a stressful job with family and personal life.

As a university senior and a young 20-something professional, I don’t have children, pets or other family obligations. My worries center around my classes, projects, essays, personal life, internship, commuting keeping my apartment clean and cooking healthy meals. College holds enough stress; however, I’m already planning for the days in the next decade or so when I will have to balance career, family and life.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced difficulty balancing your career and life? Did it become more difficult after marriage, children and other responsibilities? What advice do you offer to young women on this topic?

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