Career breaks 'don't define you' says executive mom in viral post

GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
·2 min read

When one mom needed to take a break from her career to focus on her son who was having difficulty at the time, she was worried.

"Sometimes one has to make tough career choices for the family," Ifeoma Chuks-Adizue of Lagos, Nigeria, told "Good Morning America." "It can be really painful especially when you are a career-driven person but I've learnt that it pays off in the long run."

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In Chuks-Adizue case, her son OJ was having difficulty at school and with speech. In a now-viral LinkedIn post she wrote in part:

"June 2015, they told me my son had to repeat the class due to speech challenges. Wow!! That meant his bossy little sister in the same class with him!I sure needed to focus on the lil man&the highly recommended 1yr therapy abroad.

It was HARD! I was leading the biggest brand at work through a very significant time. I asked myself - What would it profit me if I proved I could turn around a declining big brand but my son started on a downward journey psychologically?

I cried alot but knew I had to resign."

At the time, Chuks-Adizue was senior marketing manager at Procter & Gamble. She ended up taking 10 months off. Today, OJ is 10, and Chuks-Adizue is head of marketing Cocoa Beverages West Africa at Mondelez International.

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It was on her son's 10th birthday that Chuks-Adizue was reflecting on how far he'd come and she decided to post on LinkedIn. She reflected on how far her career had come, as well. Turned out that time off had made a world of difference for her family and didn't have any impact on her long-term career.

Working mothers, she told "GMA," struggle with guilt. "[They have] taken time off work to sort out the family and though deep down they want to return to grow their careers, they battle with self-doubt and wonder if they can catch up. I wrote this post to also show them that it is possible especially if their jobs make them happy."

Career breaks 'don't define you' says executive mom in viral post originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com