Being Bold and Feeling Empowered

Everyone has their own ways of detaching from work after a somewhat stressful day. My fail-proof go-to is a hearty bowl of pasta and a good TV show. Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a show called The Bold Type, and it might just be my favourite TV show of all time (sorry Friends).

The show follows 3 friends who work at an up-market Fashion magazine which tackles current, real-world issues such as sexual harassment, social norms and gun ownership. It’s safe to say I binge watched all three seasons in a record breaking and slightly embarrassing amount of time. But I cannot begin to explain how empowered I felt after each episode. These strong, independent-minded women tackled several challenging situations which life threw at them in such an amazing way, it inspired me.

But I was left with a question, what does empowerment in the workplace look like to me? What is it about these women that makes me feel so inspired? I came to following conclusions…

  • Believing it’s okay to choose your career. This show is one of the first I’ve watched which showcases women in powerful careers striving to succeed and progress. This particularly stood out to me as I feel that such a focus is relatively rare to come by. I found it incredibly motivating to see these three women choose their careers in multiple instances, knowing it was the right decision and being happy with it.

  • These women illustrate how important it is to fight for what you want. Whether it’s a career change or a promotion, they remain motivated and determined to reach their goal. I interpreted all these women as having strengths in drive, work ethic and “bounceback” (the ability to progress after a setback). Although fictitious, the programme demonstrates how they each uniquely leverage these strengths and the benefit it has to their careers.

  • And the most important take away I learnt was, be authentic (being true to your values and not compromising on your beliefs). In my opinion, individuality is such an important factor to how you approach your job. A number of journals have shown the significant positive benefits that being authentic has on an employee’s well-being, engagement at work, job satisfaction and performance (Ménard & Brunet, 2011; Metin, Taris, Peeters, van Beek & Van den Bosch, 2016). It’s so easy to get caught up in the pleasantries of work and the feeling of not wanting to “rock the boat”. But it’s so crucial to understand that being passionate about something is a good thing! Don’t shy away from conversations where you might have a different opinion on something. Embrace it – in a kind way, of course. Essentially what I think it comes down to is – if something is important to you, speak up about it.

I can say wholeheartedly that this TV show is definitely worth a binge watch! I have and will continue to incorporate the teachings of these amazing women into both my personal and professional life.