What do self love and self care have to do with your career? Everything.
Tell me if this scenario feels familiar: You hold your breath, click submit, and hope for the best. And then you do it about 100 more times. You’re exhausted, hopeless, and burnt out. What should have been an exciting opportunity for change, is instead a dreary flurry of clicks and prayers followed by an uncomfortable, and often predictable, radio silence. Your resume isn’t doing the job, and you’re losing steam in a big way. That’s where self love and self care come in to transform your job hunt and your career. We broke it down for you in 5 ways:
Sheryl Sandberg identified a starting trend in her groundbreaking book, Lean In: When it comes to their careers, women short themselves. And after counseling a thousand plus people on their careers, and connecting with thousands more through this Self Love Movement, I can tell you firsthand that she is right.
Think about it. As women, are we taught to regularly tally and claim our accomplishments and to speak about them bravely and proudly? No. We’re taught to be modest. To avoid being too loud, too aggressive, too powerful. And our resumes show it. Whereas men take credit for accomplishments directly, women use the words “we” and “team.” Whereas men go for promotions and new positions they are hardly qualified for, women recuse themselves from the opportunity before they even apply if they aren’t 100% qualified. Women also hesitate to go for positions with greater responsibility because we worry about our ability to balance work and motherhood (even before they become mothers). It’s time to powerfully and unapologetically claim ourselves and take our seat at the table.
What story does your resume tell? Is it packed with concrete accomplishments and results on every line? Do you proudly tell your story, even if you’ve had career shifts or gaps, or do you shrink back and cloak yourself in self doubt, guilt, regret, and shame?
When it comes to your resume, the only way you can convince an employer to hire you is if you 1) know your worth 2) proudly express it on the page. Revisit all of your experiences through a lens of self love. What are you proudest of accomplishing? What problems have you solved? What opportunities have you created? How can you distinguish yourself from the crowd? Awards? Volunteer work? Affiliations? Side hustles? How can you tell a story on the page that will show an employer that you’re excited about who you are, and they should be, too? These are questions you should be asking yourself regularly. If you’re excited and confident about who you are, it will come through on the page, and a prospective employer will feel it. You’ll also be in a much better position to sell yourself once you’re in an interview setting.
The biggest mistake we make is that we wait to work on our resumes until we absolutely have to. And when the pressure is on, our ability to positively self reflect goes out the window. By working on your resume on a monthly basis, not only do you create the habit of monitoring and accounting for your accomplishments in real time, you’ll also be ready to jump when that perfect opportunity falls in your lap.
Job hunting, and the entire process of defining and fueling your career, requires care, thought, and tremendous stamina. If you’re not careful, you’ll burn out before you get anywhere. To ensure you land that dream job, practice self care throughout your career journey - whether you’re eyeing a new job or going for a promotion. Self care in the career context means carving out time to replenish your energy, since the job hunt can be so depleting. Self care means engaging in positive self talk, since negative feedback (or worse, silence) tend to dominate the career conversation. The only way to get to your dream job is to stay in it with your self worth and stamina intact.
When we focus on any one aspect of our lives, be it our careers or our personal lives, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. We narrow in on what we think is most relevant to our very specific goal and cut away everything else. Let me give you an example: if you’re a graphic designer, you may hesitate to include your work experience that doesn’t revolve around design work, say that time you managed a restaurant. The problem with this approach is that by cutting out parts of your experience, you’re cutting out your unique selling propositions, which are the very things that distinguish you from the hundreds of other applicants vying for the same positions you are. By managing that restaurant, you acquired project management and organization skills that the average graphic designer may lack. Instead of cutting out parts of your story, own and embrace all parts of who you are. See how you can pitch that experience as a value add, instead of something to shamefully hide or bury. It’s the culmination of your experiences that makes you able to contribute in a way no one else can. Remember that.
You send out the first job application and you’re pumped. Second, third, fourth, the same. By the twentieth, your mood may start to shift. It’s easy to go from “I’m going to get my dream job!” to “I’m worthless and no one will ever hire me.” That’s where your positive thoughts and self talk become critical. While we may not be able to control external situations and outcomes, we can control our thoughts around them. And it’s ultimately our thoughts that define how we engage in the world. Do we give up or do we persist? Do we give off positive energy or do we exude our malaise? A good way to ensure you maintain your positivity and stamina throughout a job search is to keep a journal throughout the process that keeps track of your progress, your thoughts/feelings, and your goals. If you see that your outlook is becoming more grim, that means it’s time for some self care.
Need a daily reminder to practice self love and self care and be a badass boss babe? We’ve got you covered.