Every once in a while it’s good to be reassured that something you’re doing/have done, or the situation you’re in or going into, is okay. As women, we are told conflicting advice ALL THE TIME! While I can share some life advice from a very general perspective, I think my particular expertise covers the area of careers. Nowadays, women can do anything in the world of work and yet, the first thing to get sacrificed is our career when it comes to having children, or being married (in some cultures), or just because. But also, the messages around us also say that career women are too focused, too ambitious… or it goes the other way and we are made to feel a little inadequate if we don’t have lots of career aspirations. I’ve only been around 29 years but here’s what I can share about the world of work, here goes –
Hey it’s okay:
To spend your twenties exploring multiple roles and industries –
It is no longer the deal to train in one thing and stick with it for the rest of your life like it was in the olden days. Nowadays, it’s the norm to explore a few things before you find what it is you’re good at/want to do; it’s also the norm to move on from one employer to the next every few years, particularly when you’re still building up your experience and network. But be sensible, show logic and focus in your journey rather than moving on for the sake of it or because you got bored. Do you have an interview coming up? Here’s my five tips on how to nail it.
To complete as many or as little qualifications as you like –
At 29 years old, I have: 9 (expired) GCSE’s; 3 A-Levels; 2 NVQs in Business Administration; a Dental Nurse qualification (National exam); a Bachelors degree in Media Communications; and a diploma in Copy Writing. I would love to do a Masters degree if time and finances allowed. Why? I enjoy studying and also I just don’t think I’ll ever really shake off the feeling that I was never considered good enough at school, so I spent years afterwards getting myself qualified in everything I pursued. But it’s not essential, a qualification shows you can apply yourself to something, experience demonstrates you can put your learning into practice. But your twenties are definitely for getting yourself qualified in whatever you want to do before time and financial commitments prevent you from having that freedom. Recently got your A-Level results? This post is for you!
To be Selfish –
No one else is going to give you an opportunity if you don’t put yourself forward/make yourself known, you need to think of number one (that’s you) and work out what it is you want and go and get it. I know it’s difficult to make moves and things when you have a partner, or a mortgage etc. but where possible, don’t be afraid to move to a new location for your dream job, and it takes time to climb the salary ladder so be prepared to start low, but climb high. This day and age, you can do and be anything.
To be intimidated by highly successful women –
I don’t mean this negatively, when I read about successful women who have climbed to the top of the ladder before I’ve even got out of bed in the morning is inspiring, but it’s also intimidating. We have to champion our female leaders and those young women who have made a name for themselves in the business world, but it’s okay to be a little overwhelmed by them too. I’ve worked my damnedest to get to where I am now and while for many that might not look significant, but if you’re familiar with my Graduate experience you’ll know how long it has taken me to find my footing. You and me have probably worked as hard as those women we read about, but their journey has propelled them further, quicker, but that doesn’t make them better. See my top ten list of successful women, here.
To want a family –
It’s amazing how in the 21st Century, women fundamentally still have to chose between being a mother, or having a career. I say fuck society and do both… if you want to. But it’s also okay to choose motherhood and spend some time raising a family because that’s still a pretty crucial role to play. For me I am at that point where motherhood beckons on the horizon but so does my want to still do well and do more in my career first. I also have concerns about what will happen to my job once I go on maternity leave; will it still be there several months on for me to take back or will I begin a frustrating period of life whereby I am punished for having a family? Who knows. But from what I’ve been told, by both men and women, is that you can’t really ever know and if you’re lucky enough to have a family, you’ll make it work and there’s no point delaying it because you’re worried about the what ifs.
To have your cake and eat it –
Because you can.
What I am wearing: Shirt – Dorothy Perkins; black leggings – ASOS; Shoes – Dorothy Perkins; Bag – Fiorelli.
What life advice would you pass on to your younger self?
Until next time xFollow