As a modern professional woman I often wonder, have we really broken through that glass ceiling? Can we really have it all? A recent survey from the American Psychological Association suggests that working women below the mid-thirties belong to the most stressed-out demographic in America! Are we women in the UK any different?
What are our causes of stress? Most of us are guilty of checking work emails before bed as being connected to work all day every day is the norm. Thanks to smartphones we are constantly switched on.
The right time to take time off to create a work and life balance
Whenever I catch up with my girlfriends I often hear stories about their feelings of guilt when taking time off. The reasons are always the same: One, there never seems to be a “good time” to take time off of work because “we’re so hectic at the moment” (when is it not?). Two, they feel that they pay the price for it when they return to the office. These are the two biggest causes of stress.
Perhaps we need to learn to juggle our priorities better while also learning to know when to “switch off”. The same survey revealed that most young professional women are less likely to use time off or flexible schedule arrangements to help them create a healthy work and life balance.
It would appear that professional women today feel that they have more to prove than their male counterparts too. As well as feeling under-valued, less satisfied with salaries and lacking in opportunities for career progression, perhaps we women are simply selling ourselves short. In school, the boys would always shoot their hands straight up into the air to answer the teacher’s questions while the girls sat quietly in class and excelled in silence in their exams. It seems that old habits die hard as these habits have come with us into the workplace.
Whatever the reasons are behind women feeling stressed or lacking when compared to men, it is a state-of-mind that we have the power to change. A lot of top female CEO’s proactively plan how they can drive their careers forward. Many do this with the help of a professional career coach to help them find solutions and remove the barriers that are preventing them from performing at their full potential in order to improve their career prospects.
Start living the life you want right now
While we are all rushing frantically to make it to the figurative finishing line, sometimes it just takes another person to remind us of what we set out to achieve in the first place. Sometimes we just need someone to remind us that we are good enough to get what we want. So here it is, ladies: Stop feeling guilty, stop feeling over-stressed and learn to live the life you want to live today. Not tomorrow, but right now.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!