Jumping to a Motherhood-Compatible Career Liz Wisniewski had a high-powered corporate job, a big salary and an expense account. Now she's a schoolteacher who spends her spare time with her own kids. Senior Correspondent Ketzel Levine tells the story of Wisniewski's decision to give up an impressive career and make time to be a mom.

Jumping to a Motherhood-Compatible Career

Jumping to a Motherhood-Compatible Career

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Liz Wisniewski with her son, Cam, now 4. Ed Wisniewski hide caption

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Ed Wisniewski

Liz Wisniewski with her son, Cam, now 4.

Ed Wisniewski

This time last year, Liz Wisniewski was negotiating multi-million dollar deals for a billion dollar energy company. She was making $120,000 and had been in the business for 17 years. But the higher she went up the ladder, the lonelier she became, often finding herself the only woman among her colleagues who was also raising children.

Other things were nagging at her, particularly the sense that either she or her husband needed schedules more compatible with their kids' lives. Assessing their strengths, the couple decided she would give up her high-paying job and pursue teaching. It was a career that had always spoken to her.

After going back to school for her second Masters degree, Liz Wisniewski began teacher training in the spring. In August, she began her new assignment, teaching fourth grade.

"Teaching does work better with being a mother," she says, remembering that her own mother said her energy trading career was making her "hard." Now, she says, "the segue is smoother" from being at work to being with her kids. She's also feeling tremendously buoyed by working with colleagues whose challenges and priorities are more like her own.