Given the steep rise in the cost of living in Costa Rica in the past ten years, especially in the tourist areas of Guanacaste, women are increasingly entering the workforce, either through choice or obligation, in order to maintain financial stability. For most women in this country, maintaining a full-time job or career is extra challenging because of tasks at home. Females are often the sole contributors of “invisible and unpaid work” such as routine household chores and care giving for children and elders.
Even though the challenges of maintaining a secular job are evident, many women find substantial intrinsic benefits from their work such as increased confidence and self-esteem in addition to the extrinsic financial gains. And beyond the paycheck, a job is significant because it allows for a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Whether looking for work for the first time or when considering a career change, think about what type of work you might like to do and then match it to your skills, education and interests as well as job availability.
Why Having Satisfying Work is Important
- Whether teaching children or providing a service for adults, seek a job or career that will make a positive impact on others and on society at large.
- When children witness a female role model such as a mother, older sister or aunt with a positive work ethic, they learn by example to value this and thus increase their chances for a successful future.
- In dual income homes, in the case of job loss, illness or injury, money is not dependent on one income to support the family. This provides an added sense of security to all members of the family.
- For individuals who are entering the workforce for the first time or switching jobs, it’s important to seek support. Find admirable women who are in a field of work that inspires you and if possible enlist a mentor or supervisor who can guide you about finding work that fits your needs.
- Expect to come across challenges and occasional setbacks so remember to notice the gems in the rough on a daily basis. Take time to acknowledge what you’re grateful for daily.
And finally, don’t neglect, self-care when working and balancing a job and life’s responsibilities. Self-care, is critical because with limited “time off,” many women suffer the consequences. As a result of a stressful schedule, time and resources become more and more limited for critical components of life such as making positive food choices and finding time to spend with family and friends. When they neglect caring for themselves, many women suffer from compromised health and general dissatisfaction with life; therefore, it is critical for the health and well-being of women in this country and globally to maintain a balance between their work and their personal life.