Empower Yourself, Embrace Entrepreneurship, and Thrive in the New Normal
It's tough out there in the job market these days. We initially saw a big push to look out for one another, spend time with family, and work remotely during the pandemic. For a brief moment, it felt like we came together and had begun to establish a true, human connection.
Now, three years later, countless companies are insisting their employees change to a hybrid work from the office model, or return to the office full-time. It also seems like there are less and less legitimate remote job opportunities available, and if you are unable to commute to work, you're out of luck.
Entrepreneurship in the Post-COVID Era
Who It Mainly Impacts
This push to return to the office might not seem like a big deal to some, but it mainly affects people with disabilities, people of color and women. A 2022 report stated that a total of 52% of working moms say the cost of childcare has made them consider leaving the workforce.
Anecdotally, in the mom groups I subscribe to online since becoming a mother, I see women who have gone through the exhausting journey of pregnancy, giving birth, postpartum care/mental health, adjusting to motherhood while caring for baby, and then they're rushed back to work only to have the rug pulled out from under them as their previously remote job is phased to office only.
The American Experience
This is today's America and I think it's a non-partisan issue. Many daycares cost more than rent or your mortgage, and that's if your child is old enough to attend (most daycares require a child to be potty trained first). If your child is old enough then you have to deal with waitlists, many of which expecting parents have needed to apply for before their child is even born. Then, once you finally get your child into daycare (assuming you can afford it), you have to contend with the onslaught of viruses that return home with your child - hope you have some sick days left!
Now, I'm not saying that you don't need someone to watch your child while you're working, (I know firsthand how impossible it is to work while caring for your baby), but it makes it a whole lot easier to breastfeed, engage during breaks, and avoid long commutes to and from the office.
Dads, I promise I have not forgotten about you! This impacts you too. As the wife of a hands-on, supportive husband and first-time father, I understand that you also want to spend more time with your family! According to a Pew Research Center study, Millennial dads are also taking time off work to be more involved in raising their children. You would never call taking care of your child "babysitting" because you're a parent.
False Sense of Security as an Employee
I promise that the major company you work at that calls you a "family," but is now phasing out remote work sees you as replaceable. It might take some time to find a replacement, but if something happened to you, and you didn't show up for work, they'd find someone else. When your main focus is increasing profit margins so your shareholders are happy, you're not going to put the needs of your employees (or even your customers for that matter) first.
My point with all of this is not to be a downer. Instead, I hope to encourage change. There's a clear divide between what people want in regards to their work and home life and I think at its core, it's balance. Americans aren't afraid of hard work. They just don't want to work their whole life in the hopes that they'll one day maybe get to enjoy it. We only have a snapshot of time with our children, and if becoming a mom has shown me anything, it's just how fast time goes by. If companies aren't willing to get behind it, I think more people are going to leave the work force in favor of becoming their own boss.
Keeping It Real
I don't expect to revolutionize the system to better support women, people with disabilities and people of color. I don't kid myself and think the CEO of a major fortune 500 company will read my post and say "you know what, we have enough profit. Maybe we should do more to support our people and their families."
BUT, if it inspires just one person to take their own future into their hands and become an entrepreneur, I'm happy.
I acknowledge that I'm incredibly lucky and privileged. As the co-owner of my business, I was able to set how much time I took off for maternity leave. I get to work from home during the hours I choose, breastfeed or pump as needed, and spend as much time as possible with our newest family member.
I want this for you too!
So, here are some resources to help you on your entrepreneurial journey...
(Disclaimer: This list will NOT be referencing affiliate marketing, or to simply post valuable content on social media so you'll go viral. No hate, I just don't find those kind of lists to be all that helpful).
Additional Reading to Get You Started:
Have an idea or just aren't sure where to start?
Book a free strategy session with us! We'll chat about where you are now, where you wan't to be, and actionable steps to take to help you get there.
And incase after reading all of this you're thinking "who the heck are you?"
Hi! I'm Ailsa Bracken
Ailsa is a published author, certified Wix Accessibility Specialist, SEO Expert, Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses Alumni, UGurus Graduate, and AltAgency Graduate. She became a business owner at 25, and has over 10 years of experience running an online business. Her company, Border7, is an award winning agency that has completed over 1k websites. Ailsa lives in the mountains with her husband and business partner, Brendan, their son, two dogs and mini pig.