What It Means To Embrace Your Inner Girl Power At Work
Girl Power. That unexplainable feeling which enables us, women, to be confident, independent, strong but at the same time to also be compassionate and bold enough to open up to our vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately... most of the times we are taught to hide that compassion and anything that looks like vulnerability.
However, these characteristics are all part of our ‘Girl Power’ package. Displaying one, but hiding the other creates an imbalance of who we are as women. Being able to show compassion is one of the most powerful things we possess and yet the most overlooked in the corporate workplace.
Whether we realise it or not, we are often taught to act, walk and talk in a certain way in order to be recognised for our work. Because after all, if you want to take a seat at the corporate table, do not dare displaying your natural female characteristics such as compassion, empathy, nurturance, sensitivity… and the list goes on. It seems like the more you ‘pretend’ to be something you’re not, the more chance you have of winning this corporate game – Which often results in us having to deal with corporate mean girls: women who will do everything and anything to bring other women down in the workplace in order to:
Make themselves feel and look better
Get a promotion or raise
Get certain clients or reach their targets
Climb up the corporate ladder
Gain favour from certain colleagues (mostly in managerial positions)
Have a seat at the corporate table in the boardroom with all the men…
Embracing Your Inner Girl Power
Embracing your inner girl power doesn’t mean you are weak. It doesn’t mean you have to allow people to walk all over you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn't speak up when you have to. Embracing your inner girl power means that you are willing to not only embrace the strong and independent girl but that you are also willing to embrace your vulnerabilities – Which allows us to be open and transparent with one another.
Instead of standing against one another in competition, we should rather be standing together encouraging each other. Knowing that my struggle in the workplace is not any different from yours.
Girls, let’s stop side-eyeing each other, throwing shade at each other – And let’s come to the conclusion that even in the 21st century being a career girl or woman in the workplace, is a challenge in itself. Instead of fighting each other let's fight together and #PressForProgress on issues such as:
Equality in the workplace
Equal pay for women
Justice for sexual harassment in the workplace #Metoo
And in case you were wondering "How can I start embracing my inner girl power?" - Here's how:
Embrace who you are
We live in a society where we are made to believe that as a girl you should wake up ‘flawless’, look ‘flawless’ and be ‘flawless’ at all times and at all costs. Truth is, you and I are not going to be ‘flawless’, ever! And the sooner we realise that, the better. The first step to embracing your inner girl power is by being content with who you are. Let go of what society thinks you need to be.
Embrace where you are
Whether you are single, dating or married, embrace your own journey. You might not have your dream career yet or you might not have started that business or landed that promotion yet, and that’s okay – YOU ARE NOT, I repeat, YOU ARE NOT in competition. So stop comparing yourself to Linda, Jessica, Jennifer or whatever your friend’s or neighbour’s name is. Your purpose is unique, trust the timing of your life. Focus on you, do you and always continue to work towards that which you want to achieve.
Own your insecurities
The first step to overcoming our insecurities is by acknowledging that we have them. Bringing each other down for the qualities we wish we had or the things we wish we could do will not help us progress.
If you are insecure about your work, own it! And from there on make a decision to improve and work on yourself. If you need to join a training or course, go for it. If you need to change your work environment, do it. Don’t allow your insecurities to stop you from celebrating another woman’s success and accomplishments.
‘Trying to be a man, is a waste of a woman’ - Coco Chanel
Sarah Johnson is a marketing professional and Founder of Corporate Career Girl. Her true passion is to empower career girls in the workplace, and help millennials bridge the gap between university and the corporate environment.