What It's Really Like to Return to Work After 4 Years at Home

Donielle, how in the heck did you end up staying home for four years if that wasn't your career plan?

I worked in market research in the Pharma and biotech industry for about seven years.  I had my first son and went back to work (after about 8 months of leave).   Over the next two years, I continued building my career, until I had made it to the senior director level--a huge milestone!  

Then I had my second son. He was born in September. I went on maternity leave and was going to return in January. But, two weeks after my son was born, we got his diagnosis of Sickle Cell Disease and it literally changed our lives.  

In the episode I share: 

  1. Why I decided to leave work (not my career "plan" up until that point)
  2. Key lessons I learned when I decided to return to work 4 years later, including
    1. Why your work and your network are the most important things that you have control over
    2. I’ve still got it, although I am wiser and more confident
    3. Having kids didn’t decrease my worth, it increases my ability to project manage, share, give praise, and not sweat the small stuff.
    4. There are always trade-offs; You can’t have it all
    5. If you’re going to leave your kids, do it for work that matters with people you like
    6. It’s just different work than being an at-home parent, but it’s still work



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