For women in the workforce, becoming a mother while in the middle of your career can bring a lot of new challenges and if you’re a single mother, those challenges are even greater. But it’s not impossible to lead both lives, and business leader and mother Susan McGalla does both very well. She wrote an article for Getting Balance magazine in which she explained how she was able to do it.
The first thing McGalla recommends you do is find the time whenever possible to get rest. That could mean an afternoon nap, time at the spa to get a massage or something to take your mind off of the stresses of work and family life. She also said you shouldn’t fill your life with too many activities that are pointless and won’t help you out, and that means sometimes you need to politely avoid neighbors or extended family during down time. McGalla also recommends time for activities like working out aerobically or in the gym so that you can stay in shape and ready to handle the heavy lifting of a mother. One other thing she recommends is having a little time once in a while where technology is turned off so you can free your mind and come back refreshed.
Susan McGalla’s career has been successful in marketing and brand management for various companies in Pittsburgh. She received her bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College and spent nearly 10 years at the Joseph Horne Company. McGalla then became charged with replenishing merchandise at American Eagle Outfitters where she managed regional stores for the first several years, and then she joined the corporate division in marketing and merchandise management. She would be promoted to the executive committee as chief merchandising officer in 2006, and one year later she was made president of American Eagle. McGalla oversaw the opening of Aerie and 77kids during her time at the company.
Susan McGalla went from American Eagle to the Board of Directors at HFF, Inc., a Pittsburgh real estate firm. She also served as a trustee at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical research center and was an advisor to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. McGalla currently brings out new fan merchandise and memorabilia promotions as Vice President of Business and Creative Strategy of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and she sometimes offers advice to up and coming executives through a small consulting firm she runs.