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No B.S. Career Advice from Working Mom - Nichole Bailey

For working moms, the work day doesn't end at 5:00 when it's time to leave the office. Besides work commitments, there are also many commitments at home that need to be taken care of. I always think it's fascinating to hear how other working moms juggle life and work and what their specific routines are. Below is a peek into the world of working mom, Nichole.

My name is Nichole and I'm a working mom of 2 children - a girl and a boy.

My working mom life is currently evolving, after 7 years working in Compliance at American Express Corp., putting in 13 hour work days, sacrificing countless family time, and being passed up for a promotion in the process, I decided to re-assess and evaluate my professional relationship and my career trajectory with the company. After careful consideration I decided to pursue a role with their major competitor, JP Morgan & Chase. Still in a Compliance role, I'm working more on the Operational Risk side of the business in a management capacity and I'm getting acclimated to that. My evenings with my family are mine, and my overall stress level has subsided tremendously.

As a working mother I've always sought out companies that valued one of my core values- work life balance. This was a significant factor when thinking about growing my family & deciding to work for American Express and would be equally as important as a mom withtwo young children in elementary school deciding to leave American Express. Being able to pick my kids up from school, attend school activities, volunteer,  be present for extracurricular activities are staples I don't want to compromise for a paycheck or a title.

My greatest professional goal right now is to navigate within the culture of my new firm. After being with a company for 7+ years. There's a lot of institutional knowledge and subject matter expertise that is developed and ingrained.  Finding how to leverage and transition this expertise elsewhere is my current goal.

I don't have a fear in accomplishing this goal as I know it's attainable with time and dedication. I've resolved to the fact that it's not enough to keep your head down working and waiting for accolades.  It's imperative to network, charter your course, navigate and be seen.

Every day I'm pushing past the fear and trying to challengethe status quo. My goal is to break the glass ceiling as a double minority. I'm a woman and African American. I'm a working mother - which also means my contribution in at work may have different constraints than my counter parts who are male, don't have children or who have different child care options. My husband (who also is in Corporate banking) and I solely manage the drop off/ pick up of our children. That says a lot on the limitations in work hours we can give onsite.

My no B.S. advice for other working mothers is to manage the process before the process manages you.

Long gone are the days where we act like our families don't exist. Where we put in the work to be acknowledged professionally but are failing in our private lives. Long gone are the days we are expected as women to re-enter the home at the end of the day as if we never left. We have to manage both ends of the process so we can operate at our highest frequency.

The good news is, It can be done!