Gals! Kate is just about to take the leap to get published as an author! I was SO inspired by the fact that she is the mother of FOUR GIRLS and is so intent on giving them choices to become whoever they want to be.
Tell us a little about yourself and your career
Hey, I'm Kate! I moved around too much as a kid to really claim anywhere as my home state, but I've lived in Utah with my husband and kids for the past 15 years. I'm a little bit different than most of the amazing women featured on this blog because I am a stay at home mom. I have four daughters (no sons!) ages 4-11. I've wanted to be a stay at home mom since I was a little girl, and I've loved the past 11 years, but recently I've been thinking about what my life will look like in 15 years when my kids have all moved out. I substitute and volunteer in the elementary school library currently and would love for that to turn into a full time job when my youngest is in school. But my biggest career goal is to work in the community outreach programs in the Salt Lake City library system. I have always loved to read and libraries are magical places full of possibilities! I especially love the SLC system because it is about so much more than books. It is a community gathering places that offers services to so many different populations and is a great starting point for learning something new. I would love to be able to give back to my community by being involved in all the programs that the SLC library system has to offer.
Along with finding opportunities to gain relevant experience for a future position in the library system, I am an aspiring author. I've always wanted to write a book, but never sat down and really tried to do it until 2016. That first project didn't go anymore, but I tried again in 2017 and finished my YA novel Lonely Places a few months later. Right now I am polishing Lonely Places in order to seek representation from a literary agent. I'm also working on my second project, another YA novel called I Was Spirit. I'll never forget how I felt when I finished Lonely Places. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing a lifelong goal. I think I read the last page a dozen times that day, just to feel the rush again!
How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?
I've been so inspired by my mother over the past 10 years. She got married young, doesn't even have an associate's degree, and like me, had always wanted to "just" stay at home. But when her children started moving out, she decided it was time to go from volunteering and doing part-time jobs just to make extra money, to developing a real career for herself. She got a job at a Montessori school and got her Montessori teaching certificate a few year later. By the time she left that job in order to move across the country, she was a beloved part of their community and was running their theater, music, and cooking programs. She inspires me by showing me that it's never too late to find your passion and turn it into a successful career.
My four daughters are my biggest supporters. They are young enough to still (mostly) think I am pretty awesome and that I can do anything I want to do. They have such unwavering faith in me accomplishing my goals. They never question whether something is practical or feasible or even likely. They have taught me to believe in myself because they believe in me.
Lastly, my sister Kelsey is a brilliant writer and career woman and tirelessly cheers me on. She's my little sister, and it's been neat to see kind of a role reversal in our relationship. Now she's the experienced one and I rely on her advice and support for so many things!
As a mother of all girls, what do you hope to instill in them as they embark on their futures?
I hope that they know they don't have to choose between being a woman and anything. They can be a mother and have a career; but they can also be a stay at home mom and still ambitious at the same time. They don't have to fit society's definition of femininity in order to be a woman. Most of all, I just want them to seek fulfillment and happiness on their own terms, not on society's terms.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: your career aspirations?
I sometimes joke that I went to college too early, because very young adult me didn't have any clue what I was interested in studying. I ended up getting a degree in general studies--better than nothing, right? Ten years later I could think of quite a few things I wish I had pursued, including political science, occupational therapy, and marketing. I wish I had spent more time really considering my strengths and what I enjoy doing and figured out something that fit my interests well. I hope to pursue a master's degree in education, culture, and society at the University of Utah, but don't have any set plans yet.
What is your career-related mantra?
If there is no way, make one.