FACT: Caregiving WILL impact your career.
Also a FACT: There are steps you can take to minimize that impact.
Recently I had the opportunity to share some “Advice to my younger self” on Sara Holz’s podcast of the same name. And what would I tell my younger self about balancing caregiving and career?
- Lean in to your career while you can. By leaning in at work, you can earn a reputation as a strong, dependable contributor. You can earn a salary that will help you navigate life’s financial ups and downs. You will earn equity in your career and you can later trade that equity for flexibility when you need it for caregiving. And believe me, you need the flexibility of a yogini to balance career and care.
- Initiate a conversation about aging with your parents early. Talking to your parents about aging should be a process, not an event. Start early asking your parents about their goals for their health, their finances, their living situation. It’s not an easy topic to raise, but it’s much better to broach the topic when all is well then waiting until their is a crisis.
- Contribute to your 401K or comparable retirement fund. Caregiving can disrupt your career and your earning potential. According to a study from MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving, women lose an average $324,044 in compensation due to caregiving. Couple that with, time out of the office having and raising children, plus a gender-based wage gap, and the fact that women, on average, live longer than men, you cannot afford not to save as much as possible for retirement and your own long-term care.
You can listen to the episode HERE.
And for more tips on how to caregiver-proof your career read this: