8 Things Every Aspiring #GirlBoss Needs To Know

Navigating your career in your 20s (and even in your 30s!) is stressful and chaotic. You’ve set your sights high, determined to climb the career ladder faster than everyone else, and you’re working your ass off to get there. It won’t be easy — just remember that 20 years from now, when you’ve retired early and are spending your mornings getting day drunk by the pool with your yoga friends, it’ll all have been completely worth it.

If you’re determined to be the next #GirlBoss success story, learn, live and breathe these eight rules of business:

  1. You Can’t Wait for Opportunities, You Have to Create Them. If you want your career to really go somewhere, you have to be proactive about creating opportunities for yourself. Leaving it up to the universe, fate, karma or any other force is BS/ Go after your wants and goals and make them happen!
  2. Your Network is Your Net Worth. It’s all about who you know, so get out there and be social! Jump on every opportunity to network, make genuine connections and meet others who are driven as you are. You invest your time and your money, so don’t make the mistake of not investing in your relationships, too.
  3. Your Personal Brand is Everything. When you’re a #GirlBoss, your personal brand is your business card. This includes everything from your style, to your mannerisms, to what you post on Instagram. It might sound shallow, but that’s the cold, harsh truth in business. Take care in making sure everything you put out there aligns with your brand and portrays your best self.
  4. Collaborate, Don’t Compete. The worst thing you can do is step on other women to make it to the top. Even if you get there, it’ll be pretty lonely standing alone, having burned all your bridges. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use your competitive edge, but focus on building yourself up rather than pushing others down. Surround yourself with other aspiring lady bosses who are just as determined as yourself and work your way up together.
  5. There’s No Such Thing As Weekends. This is one lesson you’ll learn pretty damn quick. On your way out of town for a weekend getaway, you’ll be riding shotgun with your laptop. Hopping on the next red-eye for a last-minute vacay? You’d better make sure it has WiFi. Every successful woman knows you can’t miss a deadline or let a client’s email go unanswered just because it’s a Saturday.
  6. It’s Always Your Job (and it’s Not Always Glamorous). Whether you’re running the show or working hard to climb the corporate ladder, serving your career means that you should never utter the words “It’s not my job.” It may not be in your job description, but to be a team player, you sometimes have to step up and take on tasks that are below your rank. Taking on responsibilities outside of your own will make you indispensable to the team and earn you mega reputation points.
  7. Roll With The Punches. You can obsess over planning, organization and creating structure ’til you go blue in the face, but once in a while, you’re going to get thrown a curveball. Rather than letting it hit you and keep you down, pick yourself up and throw it right back. You’re a smart woman and, with a few deep breaths, you’ll quickly come up with a master plan B.
  8. It’s Okay To Do Things Differently. When all of your friends are working the standard nine to five, applying for mortgages and settling down, it can be tough when you feel like you’re the only one doing things differently. Just remember that traditional career paths aren’t for everyone. If you find something that makes you happy and pays your rent, then you’ve hit the jackpot!
Kait is a freelance writer and digital marketing coordinator living in Toronto. She's the founder and managing of Spark Social Agency. You can find her on Twitter @kaitshiels.