My father-in-law (well, in effect — my partner and I aren’t married) told me several months ago that “it seems you don’t love your children, you don’t care for them, you are not a good role model nor mother”. Admittedly, it was amid our first-ever heated discussion but it’s quite the statement, don’t you think? You’d be right in thinking a wave of emotion washes over you when someone says something like that: shock, disbelief, rage, confusion, white-hot fury.

He didn’t stop there; he repeated it. Three times. So while I possibly would have dismissed it as an unnecessarily vicious…

Corona fatigue has set in for sure, but something special is afoot. It’d be mad not to enjoy (or even, indulge in) this simpler moment.

A funny thing happened on the way to get my coffee today. Every person I passed on the street smiled or said hello. Odd, I thought, even in this country. I walked on and saw people doing DIY in their garages. Mowing lawns on a work day. Talking to neighbours on nature strips. I saw hearts drawn on the footpath with ‘Have a good day’ written in blue chalk. Hopscotch on the next block. (Hopscotch…

Hold up a minute. Before you head into the Boss’s office and BOOM, take stock. Are things really that bad? Are you just having a rubbish day, rubbish week, rubbish month?

Could you improve the sitch by owning your career? Explore training or development opportunities, find a mentor, shadow a colleague in a different area of the firm to see if it’s for you. Try to think — clearly and without other peeps around to give their IMO — what it is that’s making it so bad and what could make it better.

Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama made the role her own. Credit: Alex Nemo Hanse/Unsplash

Maybe it’s just the wrong fit. You’re…

So if you feel like a swift or sudden exit is too intense, start small and start on the side. Don’t throw it all in if you can do it all instead; that is, keep the lousy job while you work on the big stuff.

Do it like Elle did. Elle Macpherson’s Intimates range launched around the height of the supermodel’s powers. In 1989/90, when she was just 26 years old, Elle inked a deal with intimate apparel company Bendon to produce an eponymous lingerie line. …

Real and relatable… Actress/singer Selena Gomez isn’t one of the most-followed Insta stars for nothing. Credit:Dr GMC (2015)/Creative Commons

Beware of being same same. You can self-promote like the KarJenners without doing it in the exact same way. There’s only so many head-tilting, pout-puckering selfies that can do the rounds.

So love fashion? Get blogging. Anyone can tell you that (see #startasidehustle). But what makes your blogging effort better than the rest? If someone else has said it before, you want to be the one who gets their message across in a cool, quirky and — most importantly — unique way.

Are your posts full of witty repartee or avant-garde style reinterpretations that attract early adopters? Does Ghesquière give…

On the other hand, this is a familiar story. Everyone’s doing it. Blog, tweet, post, like. Eat, sleep, repeat.

Not all up in your social media business… Jennifer Lawrence does it differently. Credit: John Bauld/Creative Commons

In a digital world in which no one will shut up, maybe that’s the best thing to do. It sounds simple (obvious, even). If everyone is overexposed, who’s going to notice you? That’s not to say that you’re not brill, interesting and all round fab. That’s not to say your opinion is not valid or compelling. It’s just that, again, someone else has said it before. In the exact same way (read: online).

If you don’t #doitbetter, do it different. Stop…

Read the vibe. Then capture it. No one ever achieves greatness without tapping into the mood of the moment. With her bestseller Lean In, first lady of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg wrote the right words at the right time in history. In her #metoo moment at the 2018 Globes, Oprah was the right voice in the right place.

Just what we needed to hear… Oprah knows how to #meetthemoment. Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Yes, these women have timeless appeal and their universal message would probably still cut above the noise 10 years from today. But the reason they achieved greatness is that they hit a killer note at the perfect moment. Timing really is everything. Oprah…

So you’ve tried absolutely everything to get out of your work rut. Your 9–5 is a grind and the routine is killing you, slowly. You’ve downloaded every self-help book on Audible. You’ve hit up fam, friends and randoms for job opps in and out of the company. You’ve applied here, there, everywhere. Days are passing. Nothing is working. Not. a. thing.

Madonna is the queen of telling them to stick it. Credit: Kato/Creative Commons

It’s time to just step up and tell the proverbial ‘them’ to stick it. Yolo, you could suddenly realise that you’re nobody’s chump. That you don’t have to stay in a mindless job to pay the water bill to…

If all else fails when you’re trying to move on or out, step back and reassess. Figure out which of these two describe you, and play to that strength. Relentless is a state of knowing exactly what you’re meant to do or you’ve wanted to do since you were young then zeroing in until you’re a badass at it. You’re probs already in the right field if you’re in this zone, it’s just a matter of finding the right role.

Serena has relentlessly pursued her talent from an early age. Credit: James Boyes/Creative Commons

Serena Williams, queen of the court, first started playing tennis at age 3. No doubt her talent was obvious even…

Then do it anyway. Because the best and the brightest are always the ones who took a chance when they felt fear. If they felt fear and stayed where they were, they would become one of the masses. Like everyone else. Mediocre. That’s not you. Crippling fear is good for you.

Keep at it even if you ask yourself, ‘can I do it?’ You’re better and braver than most. Credit:

You might think the cards are stacked against career shifting, with certain industries still demanding recent or directly relevant experience to let you get your foot in the door. But make your case for ‘transferable skills’. We’ve all heard that before — those abilities that transcend industries and are…

Arti Kumria

Contrarian, activist and idealist. Gender policy adviser by day, occasional writer by dead-of-night. Wannabe hip mum of two.

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