Why do you do what you do?

In January 2012, I co-founded a blog, Grown and Flown: Parenting from the Empty Nest, jumping into the deep end of social media. Though on Facebook, I had everything to learn about blogging, twitter, Pinterest, SEO, and an alphabet soup of terms I now embrace. Working as an entrepreneur in a young industry is exciting, deeply satisfying, and a logical career extension from NBC, Discovery, and Lifetime Television – where I worked for twenty years post-MBA.

Launching a blog and relaunching my career – after a ten year hiatus – has been gratifying.

Why ten years off?

Let me introduce my children, now 22 and 16. Once I became a mom, my career decisions were made with our children in mind. Fortunately, I found the work/family balance that fit my needs by stepping down from a management position to job share and then later, freelance before "retiring" altogether.

Looking back, I recognize my good fortune – I achieved most of the career goals I set for myself. I volunteer at my children’s school and a hospital where I hope I contribute to the social good. I have been able to spend time with my kids as they have grown up, and I am happily married.

Would I have known these things in 1982? No more than women in the Class of 2013 will know. You will create your unique life as you make your personal and professional choices, as we all do.

My advice is to remain ambitions and optimistic as you have every reason to be.

— Mary Dell Harrington

Photography by Richard Howard