Hey everyone!!! I'm excited to spend some time and transition the 4th quarter series. I want to use this post to talk about the importance of self-care. Traditionally, or maybe popularly is a better word; popularly self-care is associated with skincare, wine, and rest. And while I agree completely with those definitions, self-care should mean much more. So I want to add my two cents to the conversation and offer a different perspective on self-care.
Let's approach self-care from the perspective of making sure you are fulfilled professionally. Ask yourself, when it comes to your job, what does fulfillment look like to and for you? So, I want to cover 4 areas that I think are worth considering, when talking about your professional self-care.
Your Growth - Remember, the 4th quarter is about development plans and performance evaluations. So when you sit down for yours, you need to be clear with yourself about what it will take for you to continue to grow and develop. Can you get the development that you need, within your current role? If you're unsure, make sure you are ready to have that conversation with your management team. If you can, that's great. You can start working on developing a performance plan and creating some milestones so you can begin hitting those goals in the new year. However, if you determine that the direction you are headed isn't something you will be able to accomplish in this current role, you should be prepared to create a plan that includes finding resources that will allow you to learn new skills, get a certification, or obtain whatever development you need to grow to your next level. Keep in mind your growth is about you. So how it unfolds, should be your decision. So don't neglect yourself.
Your Time - TAKE YOUR VACATION!! I'm not sure when we stopped taking a vacation, but we need to stop and re-evaluate. And I'm not talking about the vacation we take for our Insta-stories. I'm talking about the vacation day you take that isn't part of your social media hashtag. Take a vacation day that allows you to be still. Drop your kids off, go home and enjoy some peace and quiet (if that's your thing). Or go to the gym during the day and not feel rushed to get home to join a conference call. Take a day that isn't obligated to anything or anyone and focus on you. 8hrs to finish that book, start a course, or plan and map out your goals. Time to listen to yourself, tell yourself that your needs matter. The things you want to accomplish matter. Make sure all of your time isn't "SPENT" on everything and everyone else, only to end up empty with nothing remaining for you. We can never get time back, so make sure you get some of it.
Your Talent - We all need an outlet that will allow us to cultivate those gifts. Are you surrounding yourself with things and people that encourage you to develop your talent and gifts? Are you in spaces that allow you to be creative and innovative? Does your current career path limit you from thinking outside of the box? Prevents you from ideation? Or being innovative? If these are areas that you are passionate about, and that passion can lend itself to your professional path, make sure you are finding opportunities that allow you to do so. If those opportunities don't exist, this could be a great time for you to go exploring. Remember when you were a kid and you were allowed to use finger paint to create something only you saw? When you took it to your mom, she had no clue what it was, and most of the time (lol), she celebrated you anyway? Well, nothing's changed. If you get started, you'll see it eventually. Those around you will celebrate it. Nurture your talent. It can lend itself to your next level, next opportunity, the next thing that helps you evolve.
Your Finances - If you've been following my blog, you know that I am a huge advocate of negotiating your salary. Women are already paid half of what their male counterparts are. Then when we toss in race, the scale tilts even more. The bottom line is no one will advocate for your salary like you will. I have a blog that really details salary negotiating and things that you need to consider. If you want to dig deeper into this, you can check it out HERE. Part of professional self-care should include your ability to support yourself and your family financially. It should also include how you well you are compensated for the talent and knowledge you bring to your profession. If your role doesn't include a year-end compensation discussion, ask your management if those opportunities exist. If they don't, maybe this is a good time to consider looking at other roles or considering options outside of your organization. If they do exist, then make sure you know what you are asking for. Make sure you understand what's at stake and don't leave a DIME on the table!!
This is a bonus, but make sure that you honor yourself, your words, and your space. Say exactly what you need. Don't assume someone understands you or is considering you. Be clear about what is important to you. Don't leave anything to chance. Putting yourself first isn't a crime and you don't have to apologize for doing so. You owe it to yourself to make sure your needs are not overlooked. Self-care is more than a good facial or a massage. It should be holistic. Mind, Body, Soul, Spaces, Career, Relationships.
You can always do more than you think, especially if you want to. Just know, you have permission.
These are absolutely my thoughts...