“For ambition to be sustainable, it has to be personal and complex, not just about rising through the ranks. For every woman who is burned out after placing too much value on work as a key component of her identity, the task isn’t letting go of ambition altogether. It’s relocating those ambitions beyond the traditional markers of money, title, and professional recognition. Ambition does not have to be limited to a quest for power at the expense of yourself and others. It can also be a drive for a more just world, a healthier self, a stronger community. And it’s definitely achievable in soft pants.”
I lost ambition to climb the ladder in my career quite early and recognized that it was OK for my job to be the thing that made it possible for me to be able to do the things I loved and kept me going. The hard part is dealing with both family and a culture that expects so much more and being OK with disappointing both.