We are all about living our best lives as women. In many ways, it’s never been better to be one, but the world isn’t quite there yet – and until it is, it remains each of our responsibility to make our own way in a world that isn’t always forgiving.
Perhaps it’s for the best. A butterfly goes through a painful process to become the beautiful winged creature that it becomes and then – the moment is so fleeting if you blink you’ll miss it. That metaphor applied more to our mothers and grandmothers than it does to us, but make no mistake – if you’re waiting for someone to give you your big break – you’re going to be waiting for a long, long time.
Getting Out of the Rut
Some of what you’re going to read here may seem redundant or even out of date – but we’d caution you to remember the journey that women have had to make. Especially women of colour. The second we forget the basics, the hard-fought and won gains that have taken generations to establish, is the very moment we could risk losing all of it, all over again.
So as a refresher – don’t allow yourself to get into ‘the rut’. That comfortable space where your power heels and sharp suits lull you into thinking you’ve made it – you’ve only made it when you’ve taken on your male counterparts – the best of them, and won. Won by merrit, not by quotas or sympathy placements.
Remember that we have had centuries of being made to feel inferior to men, and the important thing to realise here is that that wasn’t always in and of itself malicious per se – systems were what they were because they were what they were. Therein lies much of the problem. The self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, here we go:
– Stand up for yourself: If you have a point to make or a battle to fight, then do it, and do it
on your terms and with the security of knowing that you’re right. That means doing your homework and testing the quality of your work against your competition – either in your own workspace or in another agency.
– Don’t just show up – be the best. You define being the best by competing against the best – and winning. Never give up – quitting, is never an option.
– Skill up. You can never know enough, you can never learn too much and you can never negate knowledge. Even though experience counts, having that paper with your name on it, opens the door. STL Learning is a great institution for brushing up on some key skills and if you’re needing to specialise, then get back to school. There is no age limit to education, not anymore.
Measure yourself against your peers and be a little cheeky and see what projects your boss has taken on, and then try and do better (even if you’re only doing it for yourself and to freshen up your ability and skill). Of course, if you’re ‘ballsy’ enough (intended), present it to your boss and see what happens.
Empowerment isn’t a gift or something that is ‘bestowed’ upon you – it is you taking your place by virtue of your birthright, not because someone deigned to give it to you – but do your part by being the best possible version of yourself that you can be.
2022, here’s looking at you!