Throughout most of my twenties I’ve felt like everyone but me has had their shit under control. That I was a woman with a girl’s soul. A grown-up in an adult’s body. That my experiences were somehow less valid than the rest of the world’s because WTF? Where is the instruction manual? Is this thing on? HELLO?
And then, just lately, it has all sort of come together whereby I’ve realised that heck. I’m doing motherfucking FINE.
It’s a beautiful moment where you can look in the mirror and declare to yourself, damn gurl. You doing good. Because I am. I like who I’m becoming and it feels delicious to say that. It’s pretty goddamn kick-ass to be proud of who you are. Does everyone feel like this? I hope everyone feels like this. I bet Sienna Miller has always felt like this. She seems very well-adjusted.
It started with mentoring my very own interns. They want to know what I know. I didn’t think I knew anything! But it turns out, I know loads! It’s incredible!
My confidence in myself is growing because basically I just discovered I’m not an idiot.
Here’s what I’ve been teaching them:
1. Dress For The Job You Want, Not The Job You Have
We can get all “It don’t matter what I wear as long as I be good, sugartits” if you like, but that isn’t going to stop the boss from associating a sloppy look with a sloppy attitude – even if they themselves wear Converse. It’s human nature, and denying it only means that it’s the other chick who gets promoted. Truth.
I throw a jacket over my outfit most days, knowing that if I need to I can meet clients, or head out to an event last minute. OKAY FINE. I throw a jacket on most days because it makes me feel like a goddamn rock star. It’s called Power Dressing for a reason- and that reason is because a sharp silhouette and a nipped-in waist will make you feel like Miranda Priestly meets Sir Alan Sugar.
If you’re eyeing the boardroom, dress for it.
2. The Most Feminist Thing You Can Do Is Date The Nice Boy
I suppose I’ve thought something along these lines for a long time. Way I see it, I work too goddamn hard to play babysitter to a man who can’t articulate his feelings or get to dinner on time. Oh, you “just want to keep things casual”? Screw you.
Nice boys remember anniversaries. Nice boys call when they say they will. Nice boys celebrate your success.
It’s these same nice boys who will pick up the kids from school 3 days a week, and load the dishwasher in the way that makes you happy, simply because they love you. They’ll do half the housework because nice boys don’t become husbands – they become partners. And baby? If you want to be all that you can be, you’re gonna need an equal.
3. Take Three Resume Copies To Your Interview. Always.
Because you’ll be interviewed by two people, and those two people will oft-time be men because more men have management positions.
Those men will not have your CV to hand.
Have one printed off for both of them, and then keep a copy for yourself, annotated with the talking points you feel are relevant for the job.
Being smart isn’t cheating.
4. Don’t Look For A Job – Hire A Boss
The happiest I’ve ever been at work is when I didn’t look for a job, but I hired a boss. Somebody willing to invest in me on a human level, who would help me develop my skill set outside of what it did for the company. Somebody I could learn from.
In my one job I had a boss everyone would make fun of when he left the room, and there’s nothing more de-motivating than having a leader who you know is a joke.
See also: work with the best to become the best.
5. Bollocks to Balance
Moderation doesn’t exist when you’re becoming who you are. Whether it’s blogging or glass bowing, medicine or landscape gardening, if you’re not obsessed by the thing you spend most of your day doing, you’re wasting your precious life.
Find your passion. Drink it up. That’s success.