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 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
6. Be Responsible
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!
7. Be Organized
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
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
You can paint either on canvases or on:
- Leaves (choose the thicker ones and coat them properly)
- Picture frames
- Mugs/travel mugs
- Phone covers
- Remote control holders
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:
- Ghoomo Phirro (Lhr based)
- Baydaar Travels (Isb based) encourages young single women to travel alone
- Discover Pakistan (Isb based) has a lot of independent women traveling with them.
- Nature Explorers (Isb based)
- MangoMan Tours (Isb based)
- Madhatters (Lhr based)
- Caravan (Isb based)
- Falcon Adventure Club (Isb based)
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
13. Be Spiritual
14. Be a Desi Paindoo
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
16. Be Wise Before You Marry
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: