I felt the life drain out of me when I worked 40-hr/week office jobs.
I lived on the other side of town so my commutes sucked. On top of that, no matter how much effort I put in to create expansive opportunities to thrive at the job, something was still very off.
The jobs, in and of themselves, were good jobs. But I wasn't the best fit for them.
My body was there, but my mind and heart were elsewhere. This dissonance affected my sleep. It contributed to my stinky morning moods. But I wasn't ready, nor in a position to, resign just yet.
I thought about this long and hard. I shared about it with trusted confidantes, including a colleague in another department.
I had a teary-eyed breakdown in front of her. I just didn't know what to do.
Then she asked me a powerful question: “Valerie, why don’t you propose a 30-hr per week schedule instead of 40?”
My mind was blown. The idea had never crossed my mind. I didn't even know I could do that.
I immediately felt relief at the suggestion. So I ran with it...in steps.
Step 1: Confirm the Financials
I had recently been granted a promotion so I was already earning more than I had been a few weeks prior. I calculated expenses and income to make sure that a 30-hr/week income wouldn't be shooting myself in the foot. My findings: I could afford to bump down to 30. And even if the numbers didn't pan out favorably, I knew how I could earn the difference doing work that was more in my wheelhouse.
Step 2: Collect Data
For 2-3 weeks straight, I kept a daily log of how much time I spent fulfilling my duties and responsibilities. From the time I sat at my desk to the time I left for the day, I accounted for every minute. If I was going to ask for a reduction in hours then I chose to provide undeniable justification for it. My findings: It took me 30 hours per week to do my job. Not 40.
Step 3: Make the Request
I showed my manager that I only needed 30 hours to fulfill my duties. I made the case that for me to be there longer was inefficient and an unnecessary expense on the department's financial resources. I didn't make the request about me. I did not say, "I really don't like these commutes. I'm not sleeping well. And I'm feeling depressed." I focused on the value my request would bring to my employer.
Step 4: Enjoy It
My 30-hr request was granted. I worked 6 hours a day instead of 8. My schedule rotated between 10am-4pm and 11am-5pm instead of 9-5 and 10-6. Yes! I felt mad gratitude to my colleague who made the suggestion. I appreciated my trusted confidantes in holding space for me to process my desire. I thanked myself for following through on this act of personal care and wellness. My mornings were no longer filled with stinky moods. They were glorious. I filled that time with edifying activities, including taking action to build my business.
This experience taught me that I didn't have to adhere to other society's expectations of what a work schedule should look like.
This experience taught me that I could be a great employee AND prioritize my well-being.
In fact, I am a great employee BECAUSE I prioritize my well-being.
This experience taught me that so much more is negotiable than I can imagine.
What do you need to negotiate in support of your well-being?
I help professionals experience vitality at work, and beyond, by prioritizing their personal wellness.
Contact me if you're ready to live like this.
What Does It Mean to Have Pride?
Being proud of yourself is not a bad thing.
Check out these synonyms for pride: pleasure, joy, delight, fulfillment, satisfaction.
You might shun expressing or experiencing pride for fear you'll be perceived as arrogant; however, arrogance and pride don't even belong in the same sentence.
Pride is all about self-love, self-nourishment, self-acknowledgement.
Pride blesses you with the stamina to keep moving in the direction of your dreams, desires, and goals.
Arrogance has nothing to do with love. It's a defense mechanism stemming from insecurity.
I'm taking a powerful training through UCLArts & Healing called Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring.
I'm learning visual art, movement, music, and writing techniques to help my life coaching clients and dance education students foster a deeper sense of well-being/personal wellness through self-expression, connection, and creative engagement.
Our first class was on creative writing. One of the prompts was to personify an emotion. I chose to create a poem about pride.
Pride slingshots to the moon.
She dances rubies and sings fruit juice.
Pride adorns her eyelids with rainbow glitter.
She perceives sunlight as her own.
Pressing up against the glass of fate,
proclaiming angels as her emissaries.
Pride is love, warmth.
The truth of you, in secret,
waiting for you to greet her.
As a life coach, I support folx in identifying and experiencing desired emotions, like pride. We use these feeling states as fuel to design and fulfill your most confident and vital life. Message me if you're ready.
How to Prepare for a Job Promotion
I used to work in different administrative capacities for several years and in one of those jobs I experienced a huge mismatch between the person I was, the value I brought to my position, and my job title.
I actually wrote about it a few weeks ago in When Your Job Title Doesn't Match Your Identity. That post is the precursor to this one. Definitely check it to get the full backstory leading up to asking for a promotion.
I prepared for my promotion in a very particular way.
Ask yourself, "How can I best support and provide undeniable evidence for my promotion request?”
Watch the video for the specific method that worked for me.
It could work for you too.
If you’re ready to accelerate your career satisfaction and increase your vitality, then let’s talk about one-on-one coaching. Reach out to me and let’s do this.
You think you SUCK at making decisions.
You hem and haw for days.
You ask a bunch of people what they think, hoping that the answer will be crystal clear once you hear the "right" answer. But you're left even more confused.
You make a choice. Then you change your mind. Two minutes later you flop back to your first choice.
In my previous post Why It's So Hard to Make Decisions, I uncovered a hidden reason why you feel like a hummingbird's wings when you're presented with options. Before you continue reading, read that post and watch the accompanying short video to get to the root of why you do what you do.
I'll wait . . .
OK, now that we're both on the same page, here's how you go about making confident decisions. Ready? Oh, but why didn't I just title this article "How to Make Decisions"?
Because it's not just about making any old decision. It's about feeling good with your decision, even if the outcome doesn't go the way you expect. It's about making decisions that inspire you. It's about making decisions that leave you feeling proud of yourself.
Confident decision-making boils down to two words: TRUST YOURSELF
Ugh. Cue the eye rolling. Cue the exasperated, "Seriously? But how do I do that?"
Your brain can't wrap it's head around what trusting yourself even means.
Stay with me here.
Know thyself to trust thyself.
OMG, Valerie. Are you kidding me with this cryptic esoteric verbiage?
Hold up. Let me break it down for you and then provide practical application.
Think of your social life. What’s the point of dating people before getting into a relationship with them? To get to know them, right? To understand how they view the world. To see if you can live with their quirks. To determine if you gel together.
Now fast forward ten dates later. How do you feel about someone you spend lots of quality time with? You trust them. You believe in their reliability. You believe they are being honest with you. You know they have your back.
When you trust someone you have confidence that they have your best interests in mind and at heart.
Now switch the camera to selfie view. When you trust yourself you have confidence that you are looking out for you. You believe in your reliability towards yourself.
Same way that you would spend oodles of quality time with a love interest, do the same with yourself. Spend oodles of quality time solo. Take that cherished me-time. Even if you’re an extrovert, you can still find time to just do you. Take yourself on an artist date. Start small if you must. 30 minutes. Then build up from there. Re-discover yourself.
Some other ideas:
Spend time with yourself to know yourself.
Know yourself to trust yourself.
Trust yourself to make confident decisions.
Want more tools to deepen your self-trust? Read my entire book "Feel Good Kick Ass Confidence: Using Your Body to Rock Your Life" for comprehensive techniques and practices on the road to making more and more confident decisions.
You don't like your office job. But you don't think you're ready to jump ship...yet. Or you vacillate between I need to get the f*** out of here and Well, maybe it's not so bad.
When I worked in admin, and retail, I wish someone could've just given me the answer. And I wish that answer came from someone who knew what it was like to have the job I did. It was excruciating being in that in-between space. And I stayed in that space for years.
Well, I've created a quiz to help you move forward and take the next step. Take the quiz below. You'll receive one of three suggestions about what to do next.
If you want forward traction, do the suggestions.
When I was in the I-don't-know zone, I worked with multiple business coaches to help guide my exit plan. None of them had my experience though. None of them spoke the language of admin or retail. See the thing was, I didn't just need help with getting the hell out of the job and creating my life coaching and dance workshops business. I needed guidance with navigating excellence at the job while I sought greener pastures. That's a whole 'nother ballgame.
That's why I created this quiz. For admins by a former admin.
Have fun! And do the work.
My name's Valerie and I'm a Certified Life Coach with a background in teaching dance as well as facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development conversations and workshops.