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Corina Colantino

Release Readiness Program Manager

Portland, OR

... I chose to aspire to a more fulfilling career—and in doing so, I became a powerful role model for my daughter.

I had been working at the same company for going on ten years, starting as an intern QA Analyst and working my way up to become a QA Manager. In my management position, I discovered I had a passion for running projects, however, during an organizational shift, I was offered a Senior QA Analyst position, which didn’t include that responsibility.

I was pregnant at the time, so I initially enjoyed the limited pressure that came with the position. However, I knew I had outgrown the role and I felt a void in my career that only a new challenge could fill. After taking time off for maternity leave, I returned to work wanting to change my situation. When a Program Management position came available, I was faced with a big decision: should I chase the opportunity or would I be better off focusing on motherhood?

I wanted a more fulfilling career, however, I wasn't confident that I could handle the new position while meeting the demands of being a new, breastfeeding mother. My first priority in life is to be a good mother and wife; I didn’t want to be a mom who finished work feeling drained, with no energy to spare for my family. But still, I wanted to add some challenge to my work life.

The position was internal, however the hiring manager wanted to meet me in person, which meant I would have to fly to the main office in California. It didn't feel like a good sign that I was already being asked to travel away from my family, but I didn’t have much time to mull it over. I had to decide that day whether to book my flight or pass on the opportunity. I thought back to how I had gotten to this point in life; it was because I had always believed anything was possible. I attributed that belief to “ignorance is bliss"—if no one told me it wasn't possible, it must be possible.

So I decided to book my flight. I dug up a dress suit ensemble that fit my post-baby body and boarded the plane with my briefcase and breast pump tote in hand. During the interview I remember feeling nervous, confident, apprehensive and most importantly, excited about the new position. It just goes to show that ignorance is bliss, because I have now spent almost three years working as a Release Readiness Program Manager, while being a dedicated mother to my two beautiful children (who are both under the age of four). I think back and am proud of my choice, because rather than letting motherhood stagnate my career, I chose to aspire to a more fulfilling career—and in doing so, I became a powerful role model for my daughter.