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Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am the founder of Working Daughter, a community for women balancing eldercare, career, and more. Working Daughter consists of a website, private Facebook community, podcast and book. Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Earning A Living, was named by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2019.

I am on a mission: to make sure no one goes through caregiving alone and to make caregiving and career compatible.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I recently rejoined Ellevate for support in building the Working Daughter community. I was a member years ago and it was one of the most useful networks I have ever belonged to.

How would you define your professional mission?

My mission is twofold: 1. To make sure no one goes through caregiving alone. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day and the AARP predicting a shortage of paid caregivers, more and more of us are being called on to care for an aging and/or ill parent or family member. And we need a support system! I am building that. 2. Caregiving and career compatible must be compatible - and they can be.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Currently my favorite career moment is publishing my latest book, Working Daughter: A Guide To Caring For Your Aging Parents While Making A Living. I started the book, then hit pause for a while so I could care for my father. I signed a publishing deal and finished the book in the middle of another intense caregiving experience. But bit by bit I worked at it and finished it and it was named one of the Best Book of 2019 by Library Journal.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

Caregiving has been one of my greatest career challenges. I have cared for 4 people in the last 6 years and that has changed my career trajectory. Caregiving and career are not always compatible. That is why I started Working Daughter and wrote my book - to give others a roadmap for navigating care and career.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I started out as a reporter when I graduated from college - writing has always been my first love. I transitioned from journalism to public relations in an effort to make more money and I have worked in PR, marketing and content for years. When I realized I missed writing, I started blogging and published my first book, Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman. Then caregiving started to impact my career and Working Daughter was born.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Hands down the most rewarding part of my work is connecting with other working daughters and knowing that the Working Daughter community and my book are helping them through a challenging part of their lives. And when I can connect working daughters with other working daughters, it's incredibly inspiring to see how they support each other.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is making a positive impact on the lives of working daughters while making a positive impact on the lives of my children..

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I keep a current list of my non-negotiables - the things in my life that I won't compromise on - and I say yes to those things first. That's how I balance. For example, right now showing up for my kids is at the top of that list. So if I have a choice between attending a school event or anything else, I choose the event.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

First, I'd amend the question to "What is one piece of advice you'd offer working mothers or daughters?" There are approximately the same number of working daughters, women balancing eldercare with career, as there are working mothers, but no one is talking about them! My advice: get clear on what matters most to you know and focus on that. Let the rest go.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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