Flower Girls Meet: Women's Month Recap

Happy Women’s Month, y'all! First off, I want to say that I’m beyond grateful to be connected to each and every one of you. I started Flower Girls Meet back in 2015 with the goal of bringing professional Chicago women together to have real conversations about topics that affect us everyday. I wanted to make sure the group included women of all ages who represented all walks of life, and I’ve been overjoyed with the representation we’ve achieved. We are truly a community of flower girls who grow each time we meet while learning from one another. Thank YOU for making this community possible!

Now, let’s recap the Women’s Month meet-up last Wednesday. I asked three inspirational women I admire to share insights on their respective professions and how they stay empowered. Jessica L WilliamsL'Oreal Thompson Payton and Anna Marevska offered a variety of helpful tips for the working girl about navigating the workplace, feeling secure in ourselves to pursue our passions, finding our side hustles and always asking for what we want - no matter how hard it may be. Here are a list of insights they shared:

  1. Got a business idea? Start it as a side hustle to help you found a business in a low-risk way while keeping your day job.

  2. When figuring out what your side hustle should be, evaluate what you’re thinking about when you have downtime at work to determine what you’re passionate about. More tips from Jessica here.

  3. Once you’ve determined your side hustle, find a way to get paid. You can take a course with Jessica to help you get started.

  4. Surround yourself with other side hustlers who can hold you accountable and offer suggestions for success.

  5. Don’t forget to celebrate! Burn out can happen, but figuring out how to recharge is key.

  6. Did you know 70% of millennials experience impostor syndrome? Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern under which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

  7. L'Oreal outlines three ways to get over impostor syndrome - name the negative self-talk (aka your inner critic), print out compliments you’ve received over the years, and choose a mantra to live by like L'Oreal’s “trust your dopeness!”

  8. Even highly successful people experience impostor syndrome. In fact, Maya Angelou once said - I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

  9. When moving up the latter at work, you can’t be afraid to ask for what you want, says Anna. Whether it’s a pay increase or new role, you won’t get it unless you ask for it. This can feel nerve-racking at first, but how will you start something if you don’t ask?

  10. When asking for what you want, be strategic about what you’re asking by outlining what you’ve accomplished and what you can offer.

  11. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at work, which can often lead to new opportunities. As a journalist, Anna attributes her success to asking designers if she could interview them, which led to her being invited to NYFW and other opportunities.

Finally, we discussed effective ways to practice self-care, how to stay empowered and the things we wish we knew before starting our careers. Jessica pointed out the importance of being open and comfortable with change, as well as getting out of your comfort zone. L'Oreal says investing in herself by getting a personal trainer (S/O to Sonya Robinson) and surrounding herself with other bad-ass women has helped her tremendously along the way. She also elaborated by stating that you have to be firm about your mission but flexible about the method through which you go about your pursuits. Lastly, Anna reiterated the importance of forgiving ourselves for not accomplishing everything right away. It’s okay! Know that you are progressing, and doing the best you can.

Thanks to all of you who attended last week’s meet-up. Here’s to an amazing and productive week! Stay strong and know your girl power. I’ll see your beautiful faces at the next meet-up on Thursday, May 2nd. Details on the theme and venue are coming soon!

-Your flower girl V.