Within the first ten minutes of meeting me, there's a good chance that I've mentioned my appreciation for the Obamas or my obsession with Olivia Pope's fashion sense at least once...maybe four times, but I mean can you blame me? They're total bosses. Therefore, in honor of me writing this on International Women's Day, I figured I'd dedicate my first post to the five things I learned from Michelle Obama and Olivia Pope about uncovering and embracing my inner girl boss.
1. Don't be afraid to take risks!
If you're a planner like me, taking risks isn't always easy. However, it's important to remember that your path isn't set in stone. As you grow, you learn more about yourself. Thus, if you're changing, it makes sense that your plan changes too. Michelle Obama talks about when she was in law school, she wrote off the idea of dating and solely wanted to focus her efforts on becoming a practicing attorney because that was her plan. However, she met Barack in law school and later decided that practicing law was not what made her feel fulfilled. If Michelle didn't take risks, she would have never become first lady and been a bestselling author who inspires so many of us today.
This is an example of why you take risks, ladies and gentlemen! You could be the next Michelle Obama!
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.Giphy
From a sociological standpoint, societal pressures often pit women against one another. While there is such a thing as "healthy competition," it is crucial to make sure that your focus is on YOUR journey, and you are not constantly comparing yourself to others. This can be vital for your health and happiness and will allow you to grow individually as well as encourage social change because more women need to support women.
3. Your hard work is what can ultimately get your foot in the door.Giphy
So many people say that "it's who you know" when it comes to getting opportunities in life, whether that is getting into your dream college or attaining a job you've always wanted. While there might be some truth to this statement, having a strong work ethic and a good attitude is just as important. Michelle Obama grew up on the south side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Her hard work was what propelled her in her life and career, not just connections. At the end of the day, it's not solely about being able to talk the talk; you've also got to know how to walk the walk. In other words, a strong work ethic can enable you to get your foot in the door.
4. When you finally get your foot in the door, you've got to work it, sis!Giphy
While some might view this as overconfident, the way I approach job interviews is by telling myself, "I'm going to get this job." This is because when you're offered an interview, it means that the employer is more than likely impressed with you on paper. Therefore, when you're able to get your foot in the door, you've got to be ready to work it! Channel your inner Michelle and Olivia and walk in that door unapologetically yourself. I told my friend once who was nervous about a job interview to think to herself, "hey if they're impressed with me on paper, just wait until they meet me in person!" That way, you can emulate confidence and poise and go get your dream job.
5. P.S., these tips work for men too!Giphy
I have this guy friend who periodically wears suits throughout the week to class. One day I asked him why he did this, and he said, "When you look good, you feel good, so you do good." Ever since then, it has stuck with me and encouraged me to create my own version. Before an interview or a difficult exam, I stand in front of the mirror in a "power pose" (with my back straight and my hands on my hips), reminding myself that "girl, you've got this!" Judge it if you want, but it's what works for us.
I encourage you to find something that makes you feel strong. For me, I also catch myself thinking, "what would Michelle do," or "how would Olivia walk into this interview?" Regardless of gender, they emulate what it truly means to take control of your life and be the author of your own story.