Career success can always be regained

decisions-decisions-decisions-610719-mI worked as physical therapist after graduation until age 30. After working in the US for six years, I went back to the Philippines, hoping that I can start my own business. But I gave birth and am raising a daughter, now one-year old. This prevented me from working full time on my business. Currently, I am working part time in a “buy and sell” business.

Two years ago, I went back to school for a master’s degree in business administration to hone my skills. I want to enter the corporate world but I am anxious about my age and the eight-to-five hour job, which will not provide me the luxury of taking care of my daughter. On the other hand, I want to go full time on a business but am pessimistic on the economic outlook for our country. I feel I need to work in a company first before diving into a real business.

Are there any part-time jobs that I can take, apart from being an entrepreneur, for example, market research and the like? How can I market myself? I would like to have flexible hours to enable me to care for my daughter. Hopefully, when she is a little bit older, I can work full time. However, if I wait longer, it may be even harder to enter the workforce. Working Mom

Your dilemma is one faced by working moms everywhere: how to earn a leaving while at the same time properly caring for your child. But you are on the right track with your decision to give priority to your child. According to Josie O. Santamaria, president of Career Systems, Inc., the more important years in child rearing are those from birth up to seven years. These are formative years when the child imbibes values and habits that will serve him well (or ill) in the turbulent teenage years and later adult years. Thus, it is very important for the child to have proper guidance and care during this crucial period. So, your decision to give time for your child now is a good one; it can save you and your child grief later on.

Of course, putting your career on hold during this period will prove detrimental to your career, albeit temporarily. But you can always recoup the “lost” years later on (which you cannot do if you have not reared your child properly) for as long as you have to will to succeed.

From your letter, I can see that you have many competencies that can enable you to choose your path. First, you are a physical therapist and you have practiced this profession for many years. Second, you are acquiring business skills as you study in your MBA. Third, you have experience in sales — you went into “buy and sell” business apparently made some money from it too. Fourth, you have the motivation to do well and do right as show by your letter.

Alternatives

Based on your competencies, you can review the options open to you, which you have in fact started to do. Your options are: you can be an employee, you can go into business or, you can be self employed. You have already mentioned your mentioned your reservation about getting a full-time corporate job. But apparently, you would like to do this and you have already invested some time and money in getting an MBA. However, you realize that it is not possible as of the moment to go back immediately to corporate work. It is difficult to get back to the local job market after an extended stint abroad and you would like to devote time to care for your daughter. So, this may not be a good option for you right now.

You mentioned that you are interested going into business but are concerned about its success considering the economic situation in the country right now. You also want to have more corporate experience first before going on your own. In this sense, you are right. While the economic conditions are adverse to new businesses, there are products and services that you can offer that can work in specific market niches for as long as they address the needs of that market niche. The thing is, you still have to think about what business you can go into and see if you have the competencies and the motivation to go into that particular kind of business. It is foolhardy to just plunge headlong in a business because it is the current fad if you do not have the competencies and/or the interest in that particular business.

Self-employment

The only viable option for you right now, which you have correctly discerned, is for you to be self-employed. Being self-employed means providing a service as a professional. In this area, you may have overlooked a skill that you can offer as a professional that is in demand right now. You are a physical therapist and you can provide service in this area. I know a lot of self-employed physical therapists who offer their services to the disabled and/or elderly in their own clinics or in the home of patients. And the going fees you can charge can earn you a nice income. This can also provide you the time flexibility you need.

You can also think about taking a teaching job in a caregiver school. Caregiver training is popular nowadays because of the strong demand for caregiver services abroad. These schools need physical therapy teachers who can teach how to assist in the mobility of elderly and disabled patients.

Offering your professional services in your area of expertise will give you more chances to succeed as a self-employed professional. Marketing yourself in your area of expertise will be as easy as eating pie! With your credentials in physical therapy and experience in selling, you can be able to get many clients. Of course, there may be other opportunities that can open up for you. If you are interested in it and the pay is good, then go for it.

Photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com

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