Ambitious young women starting out and rising in their fields today are determined to succeed, but some say they are not prepared to sacrifice like their moms and the boomer generation of women before them did.
“For the past three years, I have observed the new generation and their fierce determination for a balanced life, and a need to achieve both personal and professional success,” says Aurea Crotty, founder of Savoir Faire Professionals, a development group for women in their 20s and 30s.
Career goals haven’t changed, she says, but what has changed is their willingness to play by the old rules. They’ve seen the sacrifices their mothers and other pioneering women of the older generation were forced to make at home and in their work, and now they want to reap the benefits.
“They’ve decided they want everything the boomer generation has achieved, without the sacrifices,” says Crotty. “They are busy finding the career that fits the life they want.”
Consider Karran Finlay, 34, of Vancouver:
“I have always been career-driven. I love what I do and I’ve always worked hard. I simply reached a point where I wanted to work hard on my own terms,” says Finlay, 34, who formed Karran Finlay Marketing (KFM), her own home-based marketing and events agency, after 11 years of climbing the corporate ladder in her field.
She differs from her mom, who was forced to make choices when extra demands at home kept her from a career. “I admire the sacrifice my mom made, (but) I feel grateful there are more options today that offer my generation a few more choices.”
After 11 years of hard work and gruelling hours in several advertising and public relations companies, Christina Carew, 33, of Halifax, was also ready for a change, and she too knew she wouldn’t follow her mother’s example. “I watched my mother work in a job she hated for years, … I knew that I didn’t ever want to feel like I didn’t have any options.”
Last year, she founded Urbane Communications, her own public relations company, and she’s never looked back. “In the last 10 months, I’ve been the happiest (I’ve ever been). I don’t do it because I have to, I do it because I want to.”