So I remember about 10 years ago, a friend of mine said to me, ‘I really admire you and how far you have gone in your career.’ She went on to say, ‘look at me, I haven’t even made any headway, just having babies every year.’
At the time, I was about 33, I wasn’t married and to be honest, I didn’t even see marriage on the horizon. Not because I didn’t want to, but my dear, I am not God and I couldn’t marry myself.
Anyway, my response to her was, ‘ how can you say that?’ At the time she was married with 3 children. I told her, ‘your time was not wasted my dear, it was well spent. You may not be where you hoped to be in your career but you were doing something with your time.’
I knew she wished she had done more, but to be honest, she had my respect, because I always knew her to maintain some kind of work. She never, aside maternity leave, stayed home without doing some form of work.
I went on to tell her that we both used our time well. I was single, so I buried myself in my career. What else was I supposed to be doing? Wouldn’t it be a shame, if I had nothing to show for my own time? I didn’t have a home and 3 children to take care of, so I took care of myself and my career.
Why am I saying this?
I am speaking to women. What are you doing with your time? If you are single, hear me, you should be killing yourself in your career. Yes, you heard me, slaying. Yes, slaying in your work life. Eating, drinking and sleeping your work.
You have no other priority than your career. You should be qualifying as a professional and spending your time and money developing yourself to the highest level you can attain. When Mr. Right finally comes round, and he will, if you so desire, he will meet you well grounded and very attractive as a partner. You will not be looking for validation from any man, you would have been validated by your aspirations and achievements.
Stop investing in hair and clothes, shoe and bag. Invest in yourself, your career, your business and watch your value go up.
Any man who is intimidated by your career achievements is not for you. If you choose marriage, remain focussed on developing yourself, your partner is out there, choose wisely.
When my husband met me, (I say met me because men were the last thing on my mind at the time), I had been running my business for 1 year. It did not stop us from getting married within a year. Whatever has been ordained, no man can put asunder. Marry your own husband, not someone else’s.
Married women, Madam, if your baby is over 3 months and you are not working, please rearrange yourself. Running a business is the best way to have work flexibility. However, I must say, not everyone should be in business but everyone should be a professional. If you are good at what you do, whether it is a job or you decide on a business, your expertise will earn you a living. You must learn a profession. You must be a professional. Settle for nothing less.
Do not be a burden to your family. Even if your husband is a billionaire, use his money to set yourself up in business. If your husband is struggling and you are not working, you are part of the problem. We all know, that should anything happen to that man, carrying all the load, all fingers will be pointed at you.
The sad thing is that some men are suffering, yet they still insist that their wives shouldn’t work. Mr. Man it’s not your fault, it’s the way the world is now, one source of income is not enough. Support your wife to excel, the family’s success is your success and that’s what really matters. We would have happier homes if we simply focussed on succeeding as a family, not caring which spouse takes the credit.
Married Women, for the sake of your family, if not your husband, for your children, you must earn a decent living. It will earn you respect for yourself, your husband and your community.
Picture this, if anything happens to your husband, can you guarantee those children a decent life? Can you pay rent to put a roof over their heads? Can you pay up all their school fees effortlessly? If your answer is no, please go and rearrange your life now. You should be able to comfortably pay rent and children’s school fees with or without a husband. That is the insurance your family needs and you are that insurance.
I have seen too many women crumble because they cannot stand on their own. Women risk their lives and that of their children because they couldn’t flee a life threatening or abusive relationship. Because they had no earning power. No roof, no money. Some will tell you money is not everything, I agree, but money gives you options and options liberate you.
Women, you are more than capable, you were born to take care of nations. You cannot throw away your destiny and identity because of marriage. Think again. You were destined for greatness. Cease it.
I am Adora Ikwuemesi, I speak, I write and advise on enhancing career lives.
(c) Copyright, Adora Ikwuemesi, December 2019
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