At the beginning of 2018, we asked you, our readers, what was on your mind as you entered a new year. (Aaaaand we’re just publishing this now. I don’t need to tell you that sometimes it’s just hard to get it all done — we don’t call this blog The Juggle for nothing.) Now, as 2018 winds down, it’s interesting to reflect on the goals and ideas we set for ourselves at its outset.
For us at The Juggle, we were four women deep in the struggle to figure out our own professional lives, and trying to launch a new creative project — this blog. We found it incredibly heartening to hear that we weren’t the only ones with big questions about work, life and happiness.
For me personally, 2018 has brought a much desired career change almost a year in the making. My career path has been a long and winding road, and until my current role, I’d never had a job that felt like a great fit. In the past, when I heard about people loving their jobs, or happily putting in long hours, I thought, “Who the hell are these CRAZY people?” I thought maybe I was lazy, or that I was just one of those people who would never really enjoy working. What finally motivated me to make a change was the realization that I had decades of work ahead of me, and I couldn’t stand being bored or unhappy for eight hours a day anymore. So I worked my butt off and managed to change careers 15 years into my working life.
Throughout this process, support and stories from other women were crucial to giving me the courage to try something new. I also felt infinitely better knowing I wasn’t the only one who didn’t “have it all figured out” yet. As we enter the final stretch of 2018, I’m thinking about how to learn as much as I can about my new field (tech marketing), give this blog my best and prioritize my time as opposed to saying yes to everything. — Sarah Overmyer
Here’s to reflecting on 2018, and using the next few months to make good on all those New Year’s resolutions. Below is a look back at the questions and goals that were on your minds this year:
Resolution #1: Chart the career path you want
Figure out what a fulfilling career path is and get on it. If you don’t have an avocation, how do you determine your vocation?
— Katie Kinsey
Should I switch to a less demanding job, or will that bore me or hinder me in some way? Should I get a master’s?
— Jennifer Thall
How to be more creative? How to bring more meaning to my day job/connect my values more closely to my day to day life?
What do I want to be when I “grow up”?
How to reinvent my career in a new country.
Am I happy with the career I’ve chosen?
— Stephanie Colantonio
Do I want to stay in my current field, law, and if not, what change do I make and when?
— Anonymous lawyer
To move up, or to move laterally when considering an alternate career?
— Kat., tech librarian by day, romance writer by night.
Moving into a different field/getting started in an “adult career.”
— Bennett Overmyer
How can I make money from what I actually love doing (my passion)?
When do I know it’s time to quit my job and strike out on my own?
Am I in the career/city where I want to be for the rest of my life?
Figure out how to build an actual career versus hopping from job to job. Find a job that won’t penalize future potential maternity leave.
I’m in a transitional phase now, so I’m looking for more advice and guidance on how to start and grow a business over the next few years.
— Cat, professional athlete, marketer, and entrepreneur
Where to live, how to save for home/future, should I make a career transition, where can I travel this year, and how can I expand my worldview this year?
What do I want my legacy to be when I retire?
Resolution #2: Achieve professional growth
I’ve spent a decade making a lot of lateral career moves that satisfied my ambitions to develop expertise in one field and take some exciting jobs. But in the process I’ve realized that I have a passion for people and wish I had moved more vertically to be in a position of management by now. How can I redirect my career at this point to gain marketable management skills when I’m highly experienced but pretty low on the hierarchy ladder?
Should I stay at a job that is good (not great) but has fantastic benefits and 100% stability until I figure out if I want kids, or will I have missed the boat in further developing my professional skills if I stay?
— KJ, 32, a passionate marketer and beach bum stuck in perpetual existential crisis
Do I actually want to be “the boss” of an organization?
How do I find professional mentors? What are some practical ways that I can become a better leader of an organization?
— Kate Vickery
How do I still feel relevant in my career field while I am on “hiatus” as a stay-at-home mother?
Am I in the right place in my career that I should be at considering my industry, age and experience?
Find and secure sustaining funding for my non-profit so we can pay our employees.
— Jacq Williams
Will be starting a new job, how do I learn and simultaneously show competence?
Managing a transition from working entry-level jobs to graduate school to pursue a more professional path.
— Aditi, nonprofit professional and grad student
Form meaningful relationships with my company’s C suite.
Make headway on making more money or getting a promotion.
— Francesca, 28
What kind of career is my current job setting me up for?
— Kate, 30, curious about design x psychology
Navigate company politics and the role they play in accelerating my career.
Resolution #3: Finally attain work-life balance (BUT HOW?!)
How do I hold space for the things that bring me joy and the things that bring me financial freedom? How do I find solitude when I crave it? Which daily practices nourish me and which are simply habit?
How can I design my life so that I am working less but still maintaining one or more revenue streams? Can I ‘get away’ with working part time even though I don’t have any kids?
— Kiwi Chloe
Quick healthy breakfast ideas that allow me to get out of the house quickly, provide a good healthy start, and help me not have a hangry meltdown in my 10am meeting. How to make time for adventure and still kick ass at work. How to let myself off the hook. What the fuck actually is “balance”?
Balancing work and [being a] mom … oy.
Career advancement, balancing work/life as a female entrepreneur.
How to balance having a baby with making ambitious next moves at work?
How do I balance work I love when preparing to start a family this year? (via adoption… so even less opportunity to prepare for timing).
— Danielle Oaks
Soaking up time with my kids and figuring out how to be intellectually stimulated with new challenges at work.
How do I sustain emotional and intellectual energy for both my meaningful professional life AND for my kiddos?
— Kate Vickery
Working out of the home with a child. How to balance?
How do I maintain work/life balance while also excelling at my job? Do I want to have/adopt children?
Resolution #4: Figure out how to resolve & avoid burnout
How am I going to do this for another two decades? The balance is impossible to achieve…which is not news but something about how toxic our general culture is makes me think that we’re doing daily battle with the usual [stressors] as well as higher than normal level of anxiety, fear, etc.
How much unhappiness at work is normal? As in, I know I won’t like all aspects of my job (looking at you, weekly reporting email) but when should I start seeing it as a sign to look for another job?
— Isabel Longoria
Balancing boredom and drowning at work. I want to stay motivated to keep challenging myself at work without burning out and neglecting my personal life.
— Andrea, Techy-in-training, Seattle, WA
What’s next for me? How would a sabbatical work?
Working hard, but not overcommitting/burning out.
— Addie Broyles