I must be honest: this is one of my absolute favourite topics to talk about, because it is so relevant to so many of us; and yet so many women forget to put themselves first whilst building their careers.
This leads to frustration, anxiety, unhappiness, and ultimately burnout. So, let’s talk a bit about how to avoid this, because at the end of the day, your happiness is #1. There are many jobs or businesses you can work in, but there is only one you.
Learn to put yourself first
You need to put yourself first because your boss won’t. Let’s create a new mindset that prioritises your own health and wellbeing. It is incredibly empowering to fully acknowledge that we are in charge of our own lives, and we can achieve anything we desire - without having to work ourselves to a point of burnout. You deserve to live a full life where you are happy, fulfilled, passionate and excited about your career.
Once you know what you want and you put taking care of yourself and achieving your goals first, everything else falls into place. You must start with having your own back.
Here are a few of the tools, rituals and habits that have helped me in my career repeatedly.
Step 1: Reflect on what you want from your career
I really allowed myself time to reflect on my career and my happiness. I cannot recommend this enough. How does your career make you feel?
Allowing myself this time has meant acknowledging I wasn’t happy with my career and that was truly liberating. Once I accepted how I was feeling I then wrote a list of pros and cons about my job, and my career direction.
I asked myself a series of questions:
What matters most?
What made me happy?
When do I feel fulfilled?
What do I want from my career?
My answers helped me get clarity around what I truly wanted for my career and what was important to me. This allowed me to create a checklist for future job hunts and interviews and to watch out for any red flags or companies that didn’t align with me.
Now, it’s your turn. Sit down, reflect, and ask yourselves the same questions.
Step 2: Ask yourself these questions while job hunting
Does this role align with what I want? What do I truly want? Put your own needs first and go after what you truly want, just like I did.
This knowledge also created healthy boundaries in my career. I learnt how to say no and prioritise my wellbeing. I made work life balance my number one priority and learned to align myself with my priorities and values. Saying no is honestly so empowering. Try it.
Step 3: Build healthy habits
Another way to prioritise yourself is creating habits that bring balance to your life. What does your morning routine look like? Do you also allow yourself to take breaks during the day? Do you leave your work at work? Some small daily changes will help keep you at the centre of your own focus.
It isn’t a wild pipe dream to have a career you love. It’s your right. You can create a life and a career you love by reflecting on what truly matters to you, going after that, and maintaining healthy boundaries.
Amie Duignan is a Career Coach, Headhunter, In-House Recruiter and Founder at A.D Connects.