For those of you who couldn't make it, on March 25 I spoke on a panel at the SFU HerCampus event focusing on Breaking the Glass Ceiling. It was such a pleasure to be there, and to get to know many of the lovely young women who have kindly followed my content for a long time. I filmed part of the event and it it will be up in a vlog on Elle Florence on April 7. During the Q&A, I tried to focus on giving active advice rather than academic discussion as much as I could, so here are 10 of the top tips I gave to the audience of inspiring future girlbosses in the room:
- Diversify your career
2. Embrace the rocky road
One of the most alluring traits of successful people is that they tend to make it look easy. However, success is rarely a straight path.The glass ceiling means that you will encounter not only barriers at the peak of your career, but also at many steps along the way. Sometimes barriers may mean that you feel powerless to advance your career at some points, which is where diversifying your skills can really help. Continue to educate yourself, maybe even teach, and you'll find the barriers you encounter can become opportunities for growth.
3. Set high standards for yourself
The downside of diversifying your career is that you will sometimes feel overwhelmed. The tips below will help to tackle that. Beware that in being busy, you don't accidentally hold yourself back through your decision making. Sometimes agreeing to be paid less, to keep a business smaller, or to take on less responsibilities can seem tempting in order to alleviate stress. There is nothing wrong with that, and it shouldn't be faulted, but it should be a conscious decision you make, rather than a knee-jerk reaction.
4. Schedule yourself for success
Productivity is a habit. Those of you who watch my vlogs on Elle Florence know that I adore planning things. It's how I cope with stress. No matter how much you plan however, there are only so many hours in a day. I get a ton of work done on a typical weeknight between 6:30-10:30pm., after I've eaten a quick tasty dinner. During that time, I regularly schedule two hours to make Nouvelle Pearl orders, an hour to respond to emails and write notes to customers, and an hour to work on editing my next Youtube video. By time-blocking, I create achievable short term goals. If by the end of my 'editing' hour, I'm not finished, I will drop that task for the night and pick it up the next day. This is doable because I try and accomplish these tasks well before they are 'due' to avoid last minute panic. It's the secret to my juggling act.
5. Delay worry
I love the Scarlett O'Hara quote "I'll worry about that tomorrow". There is no panacea to stress, but if you can delay worrying about something and work on doing what you can to solve a problem or get things done today, you'll often find that the worrying you pushed back to tomorrow has gone with the wind.
6. Network actively
When I used to go to a lot of networking events I was always astonished to see the number of people who would stand shyly talking to people they already knew. I find those kind of events intimidating too, but there is absolutely no point in going if you're not going to pursue new connections. Nudge yourself to mingle, or give yourself a well deserved night out if it just doesn't feel right that night.
7. Be the Mentor you want to have
My experience has been that when forced to compete, women can be incredibly unkind to one another, and I think a key part of breaking the glass ceiling has to be to break that pattern. Finding good mentorship is tough, but fostering that atmosphere starts with each of us, and our ability to help rather than hinder one another.
8. Surround yourself with support
Our state of mind and drive often depends on the people we surround ourselves with. If we get a negative message from friends and partners when discussing our ambitions, it will lead us to hold back on brainstorming, creativity and productivity. Surround yourself with people who do not take more than they give. This is especially important in a relationship, which can make or break your career depending whether your partner is supportive or not.
9. Make your time off count
Now that you've found those great people underlined by para. 8, what do you do with them?! If you and the people you care about juggle many work commitments, this can become very difficult. Know that the people who count will understand the importance of your goals to you, and should be willing to be flexible. When you do get to connect, make the most of it and try to be present. Do one thing at a time at 100% rather than spliting your attention into bite size pieces.
10. Treat yourself like a precious resource
Finally and most important, because you are a human girlboss, treat yourself as the most precious resource you have, because that's exactly what you are. Wellness and self-care are hot topic issues for a reason. Small acts of kindness to yourself are key to achieving your goals long-term. Investing in yourself means investing in your career because you are the one who is going to get to live it, hopefully in the healthiest body and happiest mindset possible.
Thank you as always for your time, and stay tuned for my next installment! xx