Every Wednesday, I’m going to try to share a short post on any useful nuggets of information people have given me, interesting tips or tricks I’ve picked up this week, quotes that have resonated with me, in the hope that they might help one of you lovely lot as well*.
This week’s wisdom came to me in the shower (in between winning several imaginary arguments and deep conditioning my hair). I’m one of those annoying people that plays music on my phone in the bathroom while showering. I stuck on a pop playlist, and a few songs in Little Mix’s ‘Little Me’ came on. In an song about what they would say to their younger selves, the ladies sing in the chorus:
I’d tell her to speak up, tell her to shout out,
Talk a bit louder, be a bit prouder,
Tell her she’s beautiful, wonderful,
Everything she doesn’t see.
‘Talk a bit louder’
Us millennials are often very good at chatting away about our opinions online, blogging about our ideas, and publicly posting every aspect our lives on social media. When it comes to the workplace however, when we’re plummeted back down to the bottom of the food-chain after working our way up through school and university, some of us seem to suddenly become shy, to think our opinions aren’t valuable, and that we should be ‘seen but not heard’.
Obviously I don’t want everyone reading this to think it’s okay to turn into a loud-mouth who monopolises conversation in every meeting or never thinks before they speak to a colleague. You should always try to be kind, to be thoughtful, and to be considerate. But also be bold! Be confident! If you have something valuable to say, say it loud! Be that one person to ask the first question at a conference. Pipe up when someone is asking for feedback and say something constructive and helpful. Tell people about the cool things you’re doing and the ideas you have for the future.
‘Be a bit prouder’
If you even have a job as a young person in this day and age, you should be so proud of yourself! And if you’re still getting your qualifications or plugging away at job applications, be proud of your commitment and perseverance! Equally if you did something a bit different like travelling or a gap year, or if you’re taking time out to start a family, be proud of your bravery! We have a bit of a culture here in the UK of playing down our achievements and not wanting to seem uncouth or arrogant, but it never hurts to remind yourself that it’s okay to be proud of the things you have achieved. Hold your head up high!
‘Everything she doesn’t see’
It’s all well and good talking loud and being proud, but if you really want to embody the spirit of what the lovely Little Mix ladies were saying, you should also try to help others to speak up. Not everyone sees themselves in a positive light or thinks that anyone might be interested in what they have to say. You never know the difference your positive comment or encouraging words could make to someone. So make sure you talk loud about the cool things you’ve seen other people achieve too, especially if the don’t have as strong a voice as you.
*Disclaimer: ‘Wednesday wisdom’ posts may not always be everyone’s definition of ‘wisdom’. Sometimes they’ll be serious, sometimes they might be silly. I will endeavour however to always make them things that have helped or encouraged me, even in a small way.