By the time, a female professional turns 30 is it likely that she will be very unhappy and burned out. Don’t let that be you! Here, at BoldLatina we mentioned the reports on ‘burn out’ and that women today are working harder for the money bag more than ever. More Latinas are increasing their educational goals and dreaming big, fueling not only the U.S. workforce, but globally as well. However, where do you stand with your work and personal life? Are you preventing and avoiding burnout which is key for today’s modern Latina? Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast!
What is ‘burnout’? According to the World Health Organization (WHO) which has recently made ‘burnout’ a legitimate syndrome.
“Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.“
So what can you do if you are a Latina employee and/or a ‘jefa’ entrepreneur – to prevent yourself from burning out?
For the 9-5 Latina/x Employee – Are you a modern Latina working for others?
1. Ensure you are meeting your company’s expectations. Have boundaries on taking calls and emails during your off hours. It’s a 9-5. You don’t always need to ‘be connected’ or reachable during off-work hours. And if your expectations are self-imposed and your schedule is not sustainable, going at a fast pace on projects without breaks and meals is definitely asking for burn out. Carve out time for breaks and meals, take advantage of the state mandated laws to protect you if an employer insists you work during breaks, lunch breaks and unpaid overtime. Get paid and remember, Latina/xs are on the lower earning spectrum in the U.S.
2. Have a clear path to career success and happiness. Working aimlessly without a road map can land you stuck in a rut. What are you striving for at the end of the day? In 2 years, where do you want to be? Can a workplace mentor help get you there? Be intentional.
3. Be easy on yourself. For real. Your journey is going to be different from Suzy in marketing. Modern Latinas own your journey and acknowledge the imposter syndrome you may experience.
4. Maybe work is not something you are passionate about and have to stick it out. Find something that allows you a platform for creativity or engage in a hobby you are passionate about. Having fun with a new hobby that you are also very passionate about will keep you reinvigorated.
5. Exercise. Nothing lifts the spirits and energy level than walking, running or sport. Whether it’s Soul Cycle or a local hike, doing some exercise with your favorite music tracks is key.
Now the above tips cross over to entrepreneurship too.
For the Latina Entrepreneur – Work for yourself?
Building, learning and growing your own business is an entirely different animal all together from 9-5 work employee work day. Being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s a lifestyle commitment. Early mornings, late nights and you will experience missed fun times and yes, time with familia, but hopefully one day it will be worth it. So how do you manage the ups-and-downs of entrepreneurial life? Work smarter not necessarily harder?
1. Ensure you are meeting your company and team’s expectations. People – customers and staff/team are your priority. Take care of people. Setting company culture transfers to company perception with your customers. You will need to ‘be connected’ or reachable during off-work hours. Off-work hours? What’s that! Sorry, but building a company is all-the-time, at least in the beginning. If your expectations are self-imposed because it is your business and your schedule, you should aim to make your schedule sustainable at some point by making it mandatory to yourself to have breaks and meals. You will need your energy, stamina and endurance to run a business. On-the-go? Pack snacks in your bag. Anticipation is key to avoid burn out.
2. Create an ideal week. Try to! If possible for e.g. having Mondays as ‘no meeting days’, only ops and admin. Scheduling calls only Tues thru Thursday. Understand focus days and optimal times of the work day to do your best work – morning person? Great, get your 3 top priorities done during that high energy period. Batch similar activities and do only that ‘batch’ of work that day. Experiment with your work style and flow.
3. Entrepreneurship is a work-life blend. Take meetings while taking a walk, getting your fitness on. Invite clients or acquaintances out for a Saturday hike. Find a way to incorporate your entrepreneurial life and personal. Invest in reading an article about your industry at the gym. Work from home? Make your home office as inviting, motivational and build systems around work flow. Co-working? And have a dog? Ask your co-working spot if dogs are allowed.
4. Avoid comparison. Putting energy into comparing your entrepreneurial journey to another entrepreneurs’ is just not conducive and takes up space in that amazing mind of yours. Focus on your product or service only.
5. Allow yourself ‘doing nothing’ time. Possibly one of the toughest things to do with a multitasking, ambitious and go-getting mujer is telling her to do ‘nothing.’ Seriously, allowing yourself to do absolutely nothing related to work or projects is a good thing – give your mind and body a break. ‘Doing nothing’ time can be flipping through magazines, binge watching documentaries – get the drift?
6. Hobbies are important to entrepreneurs. Hustling all day can take the creative out of ya. So finding a hobby to engage with to fuel your creative juice is muy importante. Baking, sewing, singing, DJing are a few examples on creative hobbies and some can make you money too!
7. Sleep. Entrepreneurship has gotten a bad wrap when it comes to self-care and wellness. The ‘won’t sleep till I am dead’ work ethic is slowly going away and entrepreneurs like Ariana Huffington have become wellness advocates for sleep. So get yours!!
If all the above fails….this is simple – just slow down.