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Four ways to make work more satisfying for working moms (and dads)

Working at the keyboard
Working at the keyboard
photo by arinas74/stock.xchng

Sometimes working moms (and dads) struggle to maintain daily satisfaction with work when challenges at home make them wonder how they're going to manage both. If they have to be away from their families, they'd at least like to feel good about the work that they do. 

If you are one of those parents who struggles with work that doesn't always satisfy, there are things you can do to bring a little joy and satisfaction back to your work (in lieu of finding a completely new job).  Here are four things that worked for me while I worked for my metro Detroit corporate employer.

Offer to work on projects that showcase a different set of talents

Though I was employed as a manufacturing engineer, I hankered to work on projects that were less linear in nature.  Therefore, I volunteered for projects that showcased a more creative side, thus expanding my skill set and adding some much needed variety to daily work. If you are similarly employed, offer to volunteer for a project that exercises hidden skills and talents.

Try to understand co-workers better 

Fellow employees are often like family; you get to choose your friends, but not family - and generally not your co-workers either.  You may find yourself working closely with someone whose background, education and work style differs completely from yours.  Rather than feel threatened, look at these differences as an opportunity to tap into talents that help you do your job better.  As a bonus, you may acquire a friend or two along the way.

Remind yourself of your contribution to the workplace 

There are likely are a few skills you've acquired that would make the workplace as it is today less effective without you. Or perhaps you're reminded in your annual review of the things you do well that are noticed and appreciated by key higher-ups.  Keep these in mind and remind yourself of the important role you play at work.

Consider a flexible work schedule

I was fortunate that I was able to work part-time for many years, and telecommuted two days a week after I returned full-time.  This type of flexibility made me appreciate my employer as I was able to achieve a better balance between work and home.  If this is something you'd like to consider, check with your Human Resources department or manager about setting up a flexible schedule. Most corporate employers offer work/life balance programs as a way to keep good employees in the workforce.


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