Have you ever been jealous of someone who got a little bit of an edge earlier in life? If not, good for you: you are some kind of pure.
Because I definitely have.
Starting out right out of college, even before college, I remember looking at classmates and being in envy of their personal situations. I wish MY mom was an executive VP who could coach me on my first interview, or I wish MY dad led the finance department of a start up, and could advise me on how to negotiate my first offer, or could explain equity and 401k to me.
But my mom sells furniture, and my dad is a handyman.
Don't get me wrong, I am super proud and I learned so much from both of them. In fact, if you are just starting out and find yourself in a similar situation, here are some thoughts for you:
1) Examine your relationship with success, and money.
This first step requires some reflection. Based on where you came from, how do you define "success"? What about your attitude towards money? How do you manage your finances? Will the career you are in support you financially? Understand what motivates you, and how your definition of success can best set you up in your life. Spoiler: you need to make that money, don't be afraid of it and get your credit card / student loan act together ;)
2) Look at what triggers your jealousy and make a plan.
I once heard that we are most jealous of the things we see that we want most in this world. Are you jealous of your friends' parents coaching them on their job hunt? Or if your friend received a promotion? Great, this tells you what you want, which is step 1.
Now let's start by creating a plan to get you there. If it's moving up in your career, check this 7-step post outlining how to make your case for a promotion. If it's a new job at a new company / industry all together, start the job hunt with this interview guide. And if it's a lack of monitorship, get creative about your network: ask your friends' parents for advice! Reach out to that old professor of yours! Ask an executive at your company if you can buy them a coffee, to pick their brain on how they achieved their success (and maybe inspire them to be invested in yours.)
Start today by stop making excuses, and be proactive about the resources that you need.
3) Reflect and identify your strengths.
I doubt that you have made it this far by sheer luck. Not having people in your corner by default caused you to get your own people. If you needed to teach yourself a skill in order to advance yourself, that's an amazing thing to call out on your resume or in a job interview. If you don't have experience in a particular field, show how you started a blog and started researching the topic to become versed in it. All of these ways demonstrate resourcefulness and showcase how you are willing to take the initiative; both incredible qualities to look for in an employee, in my opinion.
The Bottom Line: Flip the Script
It's easy to make excuses. What's not easy, is taking control of your narrative and doing whatever you can in your power to change what you do not like in your life. Consider these experiences opportunities to learn, and turn them into advantages.
I recently went on a book binge after discovering the Libby app (which lets you download audio books from your local library - for free!) So yeah, that changed my life a little bit.
I have been trying to find some solid self-help books on the bestseller lists, but have noticed a lack of strong female authors speaking on the unique challenges of being a working woman specifically, let alone mother, in the workplace.
So while the pickings are slim, here are some of my top reads that I wanted to share with you: hopefully they will leave you inspired!
1 - Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
#1 New York Times Bestseller with over 2 million copies sold, Untamed is an intimate memoir that discusses how self care for mothers is the responsible thing to do and model for their children. It empowers women to be brave and show up in their own lives while navigating life’s challenges.
2 - You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Cincero
Jen Sincero is a success coach that shares inspiring stories and ways to reframe your thinking to get what you most want out of life. Her exercises help readers build more self-awareness and are all about visualizing to get the life that you want. This book is a great way to re-frame thinking and attitudes towards areas of life like work.
3 - The Moment of Lift, by Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates drafts an amazing account of how we can lift women up all over the world, showing real examples about the benefits of empowering women. With her role in her foundation, she is able to meet these women in person and devise ways to make their lives better. She also shares some actual challenges she faced early in her career as a woman in tech and as a working mom.
4 - Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
Also a #1 New York Times best seller with more than three million copies sold. Rachel Hollis’ book outlines the lies that women tell themselves, and how she navigates ways to address and overcome those lies in her own life. It is an interesting mix of personal experiences and challenges, with lessons for the reader.
5 - How Women Rise, Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith
This book is targeting women who want to advance in their careers but feel...stuck. In their chapters, they provide examples of how women face specific yet different roadblocks than men in their careers. The book then dives into 12 habits that hold women back, and provide advice on how to overcome them. This is a great book for women to reframe their mindset and get a new perspective on their work challenges.
Have a favorite book you'd like to add or recommend that's not included here? Please let me know!
Many people came to the realization that their profession just wasn't stacking up to the reality of their day job. Cue the post-pandemic "Great Resignation."
While this is an interesting trend, and whether or not you participated or not, I think pausing to reflect on what your actual dreams are is always a positive exercise. From starting a family to getting the corner office, I'm here to say that no dream is too big for you.
The challenge is, visiting them often and figuring out what they need from you in order to materialize them. No matter how far away you feel from your dreams, I can tell you that you are close. Too often, it's easy to neglect our dreams because we don't know how to attain them. So let's take a minute to show up for them so they will show up for us, too.
The term "dream" can be a little fluffy, so let's make it into something more tangible:
1) Visualize it. Can you actually see yourself living out what you have always dreamed of? Where are you? What is around you? Who are you with? This visualization technique is actually valued by executive coaches who encourage their clients to think about their dream jobs. In addition to that, I would add to look around you and see how showing up for what's in front of you today, will benefit you in the long term - even if it may be a stretch for you to see how they connect.
2) Build Resilience. If we go after our dreams, we will need resilience. If dreams were easy, they would not be dreams but a task on a to-do list. Along the way, you'll face rejection, obstacles, and feel frustrated. You'll definitely get derailed but hold onto what your dream is and what it means to you. Keep going and stand your ground.
3) Perfect your long game. Whatever your dream is, it won't happen overnight. If you can, set a future date and break out some digestible milestones to hit along the way. Cultivate the durability that you'll need to hit your goal. Persevere and practice positive self-talk, celebrating wins when you have them to keep yourself motivated.
Life's too short to not be running like crazy towards your dream. Coming off the pandemic, it can be hard to get energized again. As we come closer to the end of 2021, now's the perfect time to check in: what are your dreams today, and where can they take you tomorrow?
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
Let's get you set up for success!
Have a podcast? Let's talk.