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16 Tips for Young Independent Women


This post is specially dedicated to independent women who are either students or entering the business/corporate world. Most of the women I know demand justice and are eager about feminism. But there isn’t much focus on becoming a more enriched, wholesome and confident female. I did some brainstorming today and here are 16 reminders on how to become an independent woman who is in charge of her life.

1. Be Professional

When young girls graduate, they have no real world experience. They must inculcate some fine habits and not give the impression of being naive. The corporate world will teach you a lot about life and how to handle boss/work pressures. Be careful about timings so try not to be late. Reply to emails in time. And talk to your boss and subordinates politely and with respect.

Know about workplace harassment and your labor laws. Do not let yourself be treated like a doormat. Don’t be Miss Goody Good and happily agree to do whatever the boss says. If someone is being unjust/mean to you, don’t let them get away with it. Do not under any circumstances agree to work after your shift ends. Here is my article called ‘Say No to Late Sittings at Work’.

 

A lot of girls today opt for business; if you have one, make full use of Google and do your research on different aspects. Become competent. Invest in your business. Get your business cards, receipts, order books printed. Be organized. Don’t ever let your client ask you for a receipt/brochure/company profile. You should be the one handing it out before even being asked. Make your Social media pages very professional and keep learning more and more regarding digital marketing. Keep sprucing up your website/pages to gain more audience. I will be posting on that topic soon. Stay tuned for it.

Here are just a few tips to be professional:

  • Be punctual.
  • Work hard. Do what you’re hired for passionately.
  • Fulfill your promises.
  • Make lists/reminders. Don’t forget. It’s never a good excuse.
  • Return what you borrow in time without being asked for it.
  • Be courteous.
  • Offer help.
  • Be well prepared for presentations/project meetings.
  • Leave every place in a better condition than you found it.
  • Take care of office/other’s equipment better than you care for your personal belongings.
  • Don’t act like a dumbo. Even if you don’t know, secretly find out! Google Zindabad!


2. Be Sporty

Develop interest in a physical game and start practicing it regularly. Watch and try different sports on TV and choose the ones you love the most. Find a court and partner nearby and start practicing at least 4 times a week. Being physically active is vital to a person’s health, happiness and well-being. I would like to encourage girls to actively participate in sports. A sport teaches you so much more about life than you know. Here’s my article 16 Life Lessons Tennis Taught Me. 

Most women in Pakistan make excuses that it’s a man’s world and they don’t like being stared at. There are so many women from here including me who have been actively playing in spite of the challenges. Don’t think negative. Just go, buy a proper sports gear and a damn good deodorant (mind the stink bomb!) and start smashing. Don’t let these hangups come in your way of staying fit, feeling active and taking all your frustration out. It really is a therapy.

 

3. Look After Yourself

Make a permanent habit of having 8 glasses of water everyday no matter what. Come up with a workable solution. Like I have 4 glasses in office everyday, 2 in tennis courts and 2 at night. This is the only way it works. Many girls don’t realize its importance. This habit saves us from so many deadly diseases.

Keep an eye on your body and notice any changes. Read about symptoms of deadly illnesses and let your doctor know if you notice anything odd. Don’t be embarrassed, be a responsible adult and be sure. Health matters.

Take cucumber, carrots, celery, apple etc to office with your lunch. Always choose fresh juices instead of coke. Eliminate crisps, caffeinated and carbonated drinks from your daily intake. Don’t let your mom run after you with a banana or salad leaves. Let’s grow up and give our mom’s a break. Take your multivitamins and have dry fruits and healthy seeds (like flax seeds, kalongi etc) with breakfast.

 

4. Keep Family First 

Know that sooner or later, every girl has to leave her parents house for good. This is a golden opportunity for you to make memories with the people that matter most in your life. Every family has issues and disagreements but at the end of the day its family that matters the most.

Know that time passes in an instant and your loved ones may not be with you in future. Make the most of the time you have with them now. Make plans. Go out with them. Play board games/cards with them. Enjoy as much as you can with them now. Also make them feel loved. Leave love notes for them. Hug them. Buy them gifts.

 

5. Set Your Priorities Right 

My mom asked me to do this exercise when I was in college. She asked me to make 6 columns on a paper and write my role in life as a:
  1. Muslim
  2. Pakistani
  3. Daughter
  4. Sister
  5. Grand-daughter
  6. Friend
In each of these boxes I had to write down exactly what is my contribution on a weekly basis. This is such a great exercise which keeps your life in balance. Sometimes we get carried away with one box and neglect the others. We must have a balanced approach in life and know our priorities.

 

6. Be Responsible

Realize that you are not a kid anymore. All girls want to be called a big girl but the most important part of growing up is to be responsible and trust worthy. Make sure you have your bank account and the habit to start saving up for rainy days.

You must have a valid driving license as soon as you turn 18 and must implement all traffic rules. Make an effort to pass the test and memorize all traffic rules by heart. Do not under any circumstances, accept an illegal driving license without passing the test. We are the educated class and must stop this. Every adult must learn the theory driving book and know practical tactics in order to get the license.

I got my UK manual driving license after 4 failed attempts and after losing approx 2000 pounds. I remember I cried so much. I did not give up and kept trying harder and harder. I studied the book and prepared for the test for months and months (during my lunch breaks and after office at night). That’s how I know I will remember the rules for the rest of my life! Some things are harder so we never forget them! Take it as a challenge but make sure you do the right thing. Don’t give up no matter how hard you may think it is!

All legal important documents need to be filed properly. Create folders with all your personal belongings. Read this post on organization of legal documents and make sure you are in charge of your life. This is the most important part of being an independent woman. You should never let others handle your important documents. You must at all times be in control. All your personal belongings which you cannot afford to lose should be locked up properly in a cupboard in your room. You must have its keys in your purse at all times with you.

 

7. Be Organized

Till this time, most girls in life are just going with the flow and do not have a habit of cleaning up their room, stuff or sorting out their lives. However, around the time you graduate, you must start learning to organize your life. Start setting a place for everything in the house and in your life. You will love yourself for doing this later! Trust me.

Never throw away useful organizing items in your routine like shoe/chocolate boxes, seal-able bags and pouches. Also keep a place in your room for items one requires frequently like shoppers, wrapping papers, gift bags, rubber bands, hair pins etc.

 

8. Be Creative 

a. Create Something Memorable

The time you have now is valuable. Why don’t you create a masterpiece? Think of what you can make now which will be of value to you all your life or to others? Here are some quick ideas:
  • Make a family tree wall hanging.
  • Make a Ancestry journal. Interview your parents, grandparents and record all interesting findings.
  • Make a comic for your university/college friends full of jokes from your time together. (I will share the one I made for my 8th class mates on the blog one day).
  • Make a beautiful painting for your parents lounge. Or a beautiful sketch of your family for the lounge.
  • Paint a rock which you brought from a memorable holiday.

b. DIY Something Magical

Pinterest is the most fun place to get inspired and create wonders. Use your left-over milk cartons, extra business cards, useless keys, fused bulbs, debit cards, key rings or anything which you don’t need and create cool wall hangings, decoration pieces or useful organizers for your room. I guarantee you will love the end result and it will be far better than something you would purchase from a store. Making things from your own hands is so enriching. Pinterest Paindabad! Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Paint an old serving tray and coat with lacquer paint. Here’s the one I made.
  • Make your own jewelry stand.
  • Make a personalized clock for your room. Open screws and redecorate it from inside. Fill it up with pictures etc and write a cool quotation about time there like ‘In these moments, time stood still’ or ‘Make time for what matters’.
  • Make personalized coasters with paint and pictures.
  • Buy plain white t-shirts for all your siblings and fabric markers to make personalized t-shirts. On your next family get-together, draw on them and gift each other one. (Remind me to share the t-shirt project my sisters and I did in 2011).
  • Make a necklace with spare key rings and keys. (I made that and a collar for my kitty).
  • Hang your hobbies. Frame key, stamp or coin collection.
  • Decorate your walls using pictures, coloring books, wrapping pictures, newspapers etc
  • Customize pen holders, book marks, box organizers in your room in funky colors.

c. Scrap-book

Find a big box which you fill with your favorite stationary, stickers, ribbons, notebooks, pages, wrapping papers, journals etc. It is very handy. Paint this box up too like I did so its not boring.

Helpful tip

  • Paste used maps on shoe boxes to make pretty box organizers for things you love. This is something I love doing. Organizes my things perfectly too.

d. Paint

You can paint either on canvases or on:

  • Rocks/Stones
  • Leaves (choose the thicker ones and coat them properly)
  • Picture frames
  • Suitcases
  • Mugs/travel mugs
  • Phone covers
  • Remote control holders
Just coat them with a good quality lacquer paint/spray in the end so your effort doesn’t get wasted.

9. Be Free 

Young girls are vulnerable and can easily be trapped by guys who claim to have fallen for them. It happens all the time and to people all around us. The fact is that 95% of these claims don’t end up in marriages. There isn’t any point of wasting your valuable time in such commitments. If the guy who claims to be in love with you actually is serious about you, he will send his parents to your house. In case he doesn’t have the guts to do that, there’s no point of such a relationship and its best not to even start one.

Don’t waste your time and energies on false relationships which give nothing but heartache. In case you do have feelings for a guy and he himself confesses to be in love with you, just tell him that if he is really interested in marriage, he can send his parents to your house. In case it works out, great. If it doesn’t, you have nothing to lose. There is a time for everything in life. Sooner or later, you will get married. Enjoy the perks of single life while you have the liberty.

 

10. Travel the World

Since you haven’t yet started earning, it is a little challenging but once you start earning, its difficult to find the time. That is the irony of life. I think traveling makes you less judgmental and opens up your mind which is very important in building our personality.

Search for day trips around your house. Traveling educates you about the real world and teaches you what no book or teacher can. If you are in any major city of Pakistan, search for tour companies on Facebook. It is perfectly safe to travel to exotic locations in Pakistan with such a travel company. Here are some companies which I personally know and would like to recommend:

 

11. Be Who You Are 

The world is becoming more and more materialistic and girls are trying really hard to look what they’re not and be who they’re not. In this world where media is constantly showing us stunning and made up faces of slim beautiful women, we are trying very hard to blend in.

No need to feel the pressure. Remember what we are here in this world for. Yes we all love to deck up and look pretty but let’s not get carried away. Let’s try to be ourselves and focus on our inner person and what we achieve more than our looks.

 

12. Do What Makes You Happy

We all know we’re leaving this world sooner or later. Nothing in life is more important than inner contentment. Try not to think about things that upset or worry you. Focus on positives and make time for things that make you happy. Find what you love doing (photography, writing, pets, poetry, DIY etc) and take out time for that. I think all single girls should decorate their room with things they love. It really makes a difference in becoming a contented person.

 

13. Be Spiritual

Since this is a golden time of your life, it is a great idea to use this time to complete translation of the Quran which you easily understand. Do your research and find a really good and simple translation of the Quran. Buy the translation in a language you’re most comfortable with. This is vital for all Muslims. If you’re a Christian, understand what the Bible says. Make a habit of saying all 5 prayers and keep all fasts. Read books of Duas or prayers and polish your spirituality.

 

14. Be a Desi Paindoo 

There is an increased westernized culture in Pakistan today. All kids and teenagers are talking in English and have western accents. The more they talk in English, the cooler they’re considered. I am completely against such norms. We shouldn’t try to be more British than the British. In other words we should not forget our roots. No matter how hard we try, we can never become one of them so why don’t we be our own unique selves?

We should be proud of who we are and encourage our own language. We should inherit our traditions, wear our local dress and encourage our local businesses. Wearing imported clothes will not make us any more foreign than we really are. We should promote our own culture and take pride in Pakistan.

 


15. Take Your Entertainment Seriously

Don’t settle for anything on the TV. It wastes too much time. Watch only what you love and that too without ads. Be choosy when it comes to entertainment. Chromecast and Anycast are great gadgets to purchase. You can watch your favorite shows from your mobile on your TV at the click of a button.

16. Be Wise Before You Marry 

Many young girls choose to (or are made to) get married soon after their education completes. I think its vital for such girls to be aware of their rights. I wrote this article called ‘ Know Your Rights Before You Get Married’ for them to educate themselves.

 

This was just a tiny effort from my side to guide girls on some basics. Let me know if this helped. If you would like to hear more about this topic or if there’s something in particular you would want me to write on, please comment.

Lastly I would like to say that most girls say ‘We don’t get time to do anything due to studies/work/kids’. This is my reply:

Stay blessed and enjoy the rest of your day.
This post is specially dedicated to independent women who are either students or entering the business/corporate world. Most of the women I know demand justice and are eager about feminism. But there isn't much focus on becoming a more enriched, wholesome and confident female. I did some brainstorming today and…

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Nadiya Najib

Nadiya Najib