#babeswhohustle

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 38

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 38

Advice from Babe to Babe


Burnt out creatively? Feel like your position is at a dead end? Just trying to swerve office drama? The gurus are here with all the advice you need to make it through the week.


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Creative burnout is so real, and can be hugely discouraging in a professional setting. My quick fixes are taking a walk outside, making time for a 15-minute call with a friend (or flame) who gets you excited and scribbling, doodling or word-vomiting onto some sketch paper. Some fixes I include in my routine are reading for 10 minutes before bed, setting a time limit for my screens, practicing creative things I’m bad at (thank you Man Repeller for the inspiration!), and binge-watching a new show. Our creativity can’t be “on” all the time. Allow it to shut down, take a breather and explore different forms. Your brain—and your passion projects—will thank you for it.

–MARA STROBEL-LANKA, BWH CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Is there a way to work on these ideas or projects earlier in the day? It sounds like the end of the day is a lower energy time for you, so shifting your more mundane or administrative tasks to the end of the day may free up some time to be more creative with the passion projects.

–MALISA LIESER, CONTRIBUTOR

I work in the creative industry too, so I get it. We get paid to think, which is a privilege—but it’s also emotionally and mentally exhausting. I try to be really analytical about how I’m spending my time and whether it’s going to give me the long-term results I want. Spending a couple hours watching Netflix feels good (and mindless) in the moment, but seeing a project you really care about come to life feels better. And then, to be honest, and the end of the day—sometimes you just have to get shit done, regardless of how tired you are. Passion doesn’t wait for you to recharge. Push through the pain if it’s for something you really want.

–HEATHER CROTEAU, BWH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


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This might be an opportunity to bring some of your own ideas and projects to the table. If your boss isn’t able to provide you with the opportunities you’re looking for, is there a way for you to bring the opportunities to them? Try developing a list of suggestions that will enhance the work you’re doing individually or for the organization as a whole, and see if your boss will sign off on them and give you the necessary resources. The most important part of this is to fully think through your ideas so your boss doesn’t feel like this is something they’ll have to add to their own to-do list. The goal is to get a “yes”—or, at the very least, an explanation as to why it’s not possible right now so you can revamp your ideas as needed. If these steps don’t work and you’re still not able to grow in the ways you want, you may need to consider if your current job is the right soil you need to blossom.

–DIANA MORRIS, BABE #182

I’ve technically been in the same role in my company for five years, but I’ve grown and changed the role so much during that time by having my own ideas, building a case for them and executing them. Often our managers are too busy putting out fires every day to be able to help grow our careers (or they feel that by giving you more, they will need to take on more, too). That’s why it’s important to make your own opportunities. Are there other departments where you could help out? Is there a stretch project you’ve been thinking of that you’re ready to take on? Is there a new process, tool or efficiency-maker you can introduce? Can you mentor or coach a junior employee? These projects would not only allow you to stretch yourself, but can gain you visibility within the company, which can open up further opportunities down the road.

–MALISA LIESER, CONTRIBUTOR

I know this situation all too well, and it’s definitely tough and frustrating. When I first (politely) brought it up in a one-on-one meeting, I was met with the suggestion (by my very busy boss) to send out an office-wide email whenever I felt my workload dwindling or wanted to be challenged with new projects. The work I was given by my coworkers wasn’t always part of my “job description,” but it allowed me to try my hand at new and unfamiliar tasks, and ultimately expand my skill set while building new relationships with coworkers I didn’t previously have the opportunity to work with.

–CHELSEA DUDEVOIRE, BWH FOUNDER + CEO


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I suggest drawing a firm line in the sand for yourself. What is your personal policy for what you will and won’t discuss? When the topics on your “no” list come up, try to either change the subject or remove yourself from the conversation and rejoin the camaraderie when the topics you’re comfortable with are back on the table. You can’t control what other people choose to discuss, but you can control what you allow yourself to participate in and be influenced by. Additionally, if you’re seeing that the topics you don’t want to discuss come up when you’re with the larger group, try establishing and cementing relationships with your coworkers in smaller, more one-on-one settings so they get a sense of the topics you do enjoy discussing

–DIANA MORRIS, BABE #182

First off, I think it’s great that you’re recognizing the gossip for what it is. Sometimes friends or coworkers aren’t aware of what they’re doing, or the possible repercussions of their conversations. It’s one thing to talk about others, but it’s another to maliciously talk about others. There comes a point when you might have to put an end to the conversation if you feel it’s causing too much turmoil or harm to someone else. I believe you have to stand up for what you believe in and step away—even if that means being left out of conversations. There’s no use in pretending to be interested in these things, because drama just tends to be just that—drama. (And hustlin’ babes don’t have time for that.)

–MORGAN PURVIS, BWH INTERN

You have options: (1) Walk away when it starts. (2) Observe silently and don’t contribute. (3) Change the subject. (4) Confront the instigators privately, one-on-one, and address the potential damage it can do to the organization and its culture. (5) Report it. All valid choices. Pick your poison based on the specifics of your situation.

–HEATHER CROTEAU, BWH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Until Next Week,

—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS


Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!


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