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What Price–Opting Out

August 7th, 2013 by admin in Careers, employment, jobs skills, Uncategorized, Volunteering, women

This weekend in  The New York Times Magazine   Judith Warner, known for her book Perfect Madness Motherhood in an Age of Anxiety  writes about a generation of women who want back into the workforce after leaving it a decade ago.

It’s a topic, Lisa Belkin,   now the senior columnist for work/life/family at the ,Huffington Post  mined a decade ago in  The Opt-Out Revolution.

In the Warner piece we hear about the financial price women pay when they drop out of the workplace and the emotional toll placed on them when they no longer have their own income. Marriage equality seems like a distant memory, although sometimes it is the children not the career that tipped the balance.

Most, but not all of Warner’s subjects find their way back to the workplace, although those that are most strategic in their choice of volunteer jobs, (fund raising for the posh private school-good, bake sale for the suburban swim team not so much), have robust social networks and are not divorced fare best.

Almost everyone agrees that a decade is a lifetime ago, pre-recession, pre- housing bubble, pre need to consider what the future economic consequences of a decision to opt out would be.

While Warner does address the work/life flexibility debate and husbands, and in some case former husbands, weigh in on the decision to leave the workforce, comment from employers is conspicuously absent.  Some might say without their voices the conversation stays incomplete.

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