Monday, March 31, 2008

Career Lattice or Ladder?

The Washington Post ran a terrific article yesterday entitled, "After a Baby, Full Time or Part?" written by former Life at Work columnist Amy Joyce. (Yup, she had a baby and adjusted her career a bit.) Her article explores the choices some women in DC have made in order to balance careers and young children.

In the article, Ms. Joyce uses a phrase I hadn't heard before - career as a lattice instead of a ladder. The concept comes from Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute. Ms. Joyce writes:

"Women are "redesigning careers to be a lattice instead of a ladder," said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute. If you view your career as a ladder and you jump off, Galinsky said, it's hard to get back on. The idea of a lattice implies more flexibility."

Hmmm - that really grabbed me! Not only is "lattice" a nice visual metaphor, it also relates to the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, something these young mothers will encounter on a larger scale when they try to coordinate soccer carpools and scouting field trips a few years from now.

It's a quick read and includes a nice list of websites for working mothers and a good "How Do I" question and answer section on some of the financial implications, both of which are accessible through the Post's free subscription.