Need some tips to feel confident at work when caregiving? Read on!
Sometimes we need to show up, like, really SHOW UP, at work, maybe for a big client meeting or a staff presentation or because all eyes on us due to the fact our caregiving responsibilities have caused us to be distracted or absent more than we’d like. And yet it’s because of those same caregiving duties that we’re feeling anything but confident. At home, we may be facing aging and illness and things that leave us feeling frightened and out of control. We may be navigating a maze of tricky family dynamics that leaves us feeling exhausted. We may be struggling to keep up with our expanding to do lists and therefore overtired and undernourished. So, when caregiving leaves you feeling like anything but a star performer, how do you bring your A game to work ?
Here are 5 tips to help you feel confident at work when caregiving leaves you feeling anything but:
1. Read your bio. When was the last time you read your professional bio? Check it out; it’s pretty impressive. I’m sure of it. The other day I was prepping for a challenging work call. My office is in my home and, due to freezing temperatures, I hadn’t been outside in days. As a result of not needing to go out in public, my manicure was chipped, my roots were showing, and I was dressed in a fleece, leggings and Uggs. I hardly looked or felt large-and-in-charge. But before the call, I was making some edits to my website and when I clicked on the About section, I read it. Damn, I look good on paper! I took a few minutes to internalize my accomplishments, and it gave me the boost I needed to hold my own on the call. Next time you feel your confidence lagging, read your bio. Yes, YOU did all that! Own it.
2. Consult your Gold Star folder. You do have a Gold Star folder, don’t you? It’s that file folder in your desk drawer, or that electronic folder in your Outlook or on your computer where you keep samples of your best work plus emails and notes of praise that you’ve received over the years. If you don’t have one, may I suggest you start one today? I’m not suggesting we keep track of how great we are so that we can brag about it or that we allow our heads to swell so much we need to grease a doorway to pass through. I’m not suggesting we are our accomplishments – how we act and feel is more important than what we do. But sometimes we need a reminder that we are capable of kicking ass, and quite frankly, sometimes our boss and coworkers need a reminder too.
3. Play your theme song. Do you remember the episode of Ally McBeal, when Ally’s therapist tells her to find a theme song, something she can play in her head to make her feel better? It worked for the fictitious Ally and it can work for you. On my way to important meetings, I always listen to Katrina and the Waves, Walking on Sunshine. Need some suggestions for your own song? Read this.
4. Don your armor. Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias said our ability to accessorize is what separate us from the animals. Our accessories also prepare us for battle. Just look at Wonder Woman. It’s not just the bracelets, how about those power boots? So, next time you really need to dominate at work, dress up! Put on a pair of shoes that make your soul smile and add some jewelry that makes you think you can stop bullets and show up! (And preferably, wear more than a bustier and bikini bottom!)
5. Remember what matters most. Most importantly, remember this: the work you do for pay matters, and it’s important if for no other reason than it pays the bills. But the work you do as a caregiver truly, truly matters. All you can do as a working daughter is your best, and as one of my fellow working daughter likes to say, screw the rest!
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