Can women have it all? It’s one of those age-old questions that falls somewhere between “Who killed President Kennedy?” and “Whatever happened to Kennedy, the MTV Veejay?”
Perhaps one of the reasons we’re still asking this question – and struggling to agree on an answer – is because “having it all” means different things to different people. Case in point: We recently asked some of CareerBuilder’s female leaders what the term “having it all” means to them. Every one of them gave an insightful, valid answer that was true to them, proving that “having it all” is not one-size-fits-all. Here’s what they had to say:
Having It All: CareerBuilder’s Female Leaders Weight In
“In terms of having it all, I think you can. I think you’re going to have to have help, though. You can have it all, but you can’t do it all alone. It really does take a village. You have to find those people – family, neighbors, a nanny, etc. – to support you. You can’t be mom of the year and a successful executive without some help. And you need to not be afraid to ask for help or feel guilty about it, either.” – Andrea Wagner, National Accounts Director, Staffing & Recruiting Group
“I think there’s a perception of having it all – a great job, marriage, kids and never missing a beat or a meeting – but I think that’s all perception. I don’t think any one person has it all. We all probably wish we were better in certain parts of our life, and I think it changes. There are times when work is going smoothly, but time with my family has dropped off; other times, my home life is in a good place, but work feels frantic. I don’t think there’s ever one time when we have it all, all at once.” – Jamie Womack, Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Branding
“For me, having it all means being satisfied and content, but I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve that. I mean, if I write down everything that’s important to me – family, friends, a job I love, etc. – I have all those things now, but I don’t really think of myself as ‘having it all.’ To be honest, though, the idea of it never really crosses my mind.” – Alexandra Matteson, Director of Sales
“I don’t really think of what I’m doing as ‘trying to have it all.’ I’ve always subscribed to the idea that, in general, you have three things you’re trying to balance at all times: your friends, your family and your career. You can’t always give your energy to everything equally, so I strive to always balance at least two out of the three, and keep rotating it.” – Hope Gurion, Chief Product Officer
“I don’t really even know what ‘having it all’ means. It’s not a thought that comes in my head. If I’m happy in my job and my relationship with my husband is good, then I’m good.” – Puja Rios, Director of Middle Markets, CareerBuilder Healthcare
“I think – and I read this somewhere, but I think it’s true – women can have it all, but not all at the same time. I certainly have different things going on in my life, and I focused on different things before I had kids. It just depends on your circumstances and where you are in life. I’d say the same goes for men, too. I remember hearing Jack Welch talk once, and he said – and this really stood out for me – there’s no such thing as work/life balance, there are work life choices.” – Gretchen Keefner, Director of Major Markets, CareerBuilder Healthcare
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