I’ve had a couple of conversations with people recently about career paths and moving onwards etc which have reminded me that stereotypes and perceived wisdom are not always right.
A friend of mine was complaining that he feels like he’s being pushed into a management position and provided with the experience and skills development opportunities to help him with that, when he doesn’t want to go into management. He feels as if his development needs aren’t being met, as he’s not being listened to. This emphasises the fact that management is not right for everyone and if you feel it’s not right for you then you shouldn’t be bullyed into doing it. Organisations should also allow space for individuals to develop without moving up the hierarchy of the institution.
Secondly I had a hypothetical conversation with my fiance about the different options available if/when we have children and he suggested that he could become a house-husband, which completely threw me as I hadn’t even considered it beforehand. He’s an academic and really loves his job (and is very good at it – although I’m biased) so I had assumed that he wouldn’t be able to, or want to, give it up for me to continue working. But he knows someone else who has done it and continued doing research in his spare time. I don’t know what we will do when the situation arises (assuming that it will), but it is good to know that there are lots of options. Now I’ve finished my chartership I’ve had a chance to think about what I want to do next and I do want to move into management, but I don’t know if I will still want to once I have children, as that will change everything. Anyway, one step at a time – there’s the wedding to sort out first!