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March 25, 2010
Meditation on Being Childless

Linda VandeVrede looks back at 25 years in PR and concludes she hasn't been hurt by her early on choice to be childless. Not being a mother hasn't necessarily improved her career path, but it has given her "a certain amount of freedom" about making career choices -- whether to stay in an unsavory situation because others were depending on her. 

"The top benefit that I see from being childless career-wise," she writes, "is that I have never been forced to stay at a company or in a particular situation I found unethical because of concern about providing for those who depended on me." 

"There is a certain amount of freedom to being able to make ethical choices about clients and companies with no financial concerns attached. If that element is a crucial part of your makeup, and you want to have a family, you need to go into PR with a backup plan, so that you can move easily out of distasteful situations knowing that you have a secure financial reserve."

VandeVrede's post is the essence of what good blogging is about: sharing heartfelt views or experiences with others. It has begun drawing appreciative comments. Says Deb, for instance: "I often get funny questions from people when I say our family is complete with one child — many assume this means I had challenges with pregnancy or that my baby was difficult. Nope, just a-ok with one, thank you. I think the overriding message you’re sharing is not to judge other’s choices and/or make incorrect assumptions about why they’ve made such choices – or how it will effect their performance."

It comes down to, at the start of a career, taking the time to know yourself, to set goals and preferences based on all you have learned and experienced to that point, as well as your aims for the future. PR can be a hectic, rowdy world, and it's good to have a course set from the start. Linda is low-key about her reflections, but they are worthy ones, and after 25 years, it's great she can be coherent about them. 


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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