Children or career? Both! – how it works – tüv rheinland

Progress with your own career and be there for the children at the same time – a balancing act that is not easy. But it can be done. I will now tell you how I can fulfill my roles as a senior project manager, master’s student on parental leave and mother.

Standstill? Nothing for me

Since 2014 I have been a project manager for occupational health management at the AMD TÜV Arbeitsmedizinische Dienste GmbH of the TÜV Rheinland Group. From the beginning, I was given the opportunity to take on many exciting tasks and projects with customers. One year after I started, I got the opportunity to take part in the TAFF program for future specialists and managers from TÜV Rheinland. Contemporaneous with the one year mentoring program, I already took over the technical coordination of national customers, was in the onboarding process as godmother for the training of new colleagues *Inside responsible and was proudly appointed Senior Project Manager some time later.

Suddenly career woman and mother

I started a part-time master’s degree in business psychology in 2016. I wanted to focus more on the topics of work and organizational psychology and thus on holistic, healthy corporate management in order to be able to advise our customers even better. And then suddenly in the middle of my studies I got pregnant. Shortly afterwards it was clear: there would even be twins!!

Only a few months earlier, my husband and I decided to move from our home in Ulm to Düsseldorf, 500 kilometers away. We wanted to take on a new professional challenge there. So we moved (in pairs) to the state capital of NRW. Fortunately, I was able to change the branch at TÜV Rheinland very easily and contributed to the satisfaction of our customers for a few months.

Child and career go – thanks to strong support

Yes, and then it was time – at the end of 2017 I was lucky enough to be the mother of two healthy children. When I was on parental leave and having two babies, I was very happy about the opportunity to take a break during my studies. Of course, I briefly asked myself whether I should stop, start again later, or just continue. It quickly became clear: "Giving up is not an option!". Children should be an asset to me and not an obstacle. I don’t want to have to choose between child and career.

Towards the end of the first year of my two boys’ life and still on parental leave, I started my master’s degree again. A healthy dose of self-motivation, discipline and organization are one thing, but the key to my later success was my secure network. I could trust that my husband would encourage, support and relieve me. The great commitment of my mother and the helpful commitment of our babysitter also helped me to reach my goal successfully and to graduate.

Work and family can be reconciled

It may be easier to graduate without children, but pride is all the greater with children. Not only that I achieved it, but also how I achieved it. It is a really good feeling to have the children’s needs, their own needs and the many different tasks and requirements under one roof.

Today I am a mother of almost 2-year-old twins as a business psychologist M. Sc. and back in my job as a senior project manager at TÜV Rheinland. I am very grateful for the opportunity to get back on board part-time and with flexible working hours. On the one hand it gives me serenity regarding the compatibility of work and family and on the other hand I have enough energy for challenging customer projects as well as for the wishes of children. In the next few months it will become clear what all contributes to success and which processes may be even better organized. I am happy to tell you here on the career blog about my (job) everyday life with childreneblog.

Career with child? Do you dare!

As a role model, I am happy to inspire and motivate other women with and without children. I would like to encourage you to take away the feeling of having to choose between a child and a career. It is important no matter in which one Life situation you are currently in, to keep an eye on your own goals. This can mean actively pursuing the goals, changing them, or simply pausing and “taking a breath”. From my children I have learned to pay attention to my own needs and not to put myself under unnecessary pressure. And sometimes asking for help and getting support. These are tips that I can only recommend to every woman and man. Because: "Better together!"


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Christina Cherry
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