“I gotta crow!” Mary Martin sang– hands on her hips, chest up, big smile– demonstrating to Eliza, the Darling family housekeeper, how to boast about herself in Peter Pan. As a girl, I loved the live-action version of Peter Pan starring a woman… I liked crowing along with her… and I now realize that it was training for sharing that “I am proud” (and not afraid to shout it out loud!) about who I am and what I’ve accomplished. This positive self-esteem topic—advertising why you’re the greatest—has become important to South Florida Strong Women Strong Girls Mentors lately.
Right now, mentors are looking for the next steps in their lives: internships, jobs, higher education. To be a strong competitor for any of these positions, women have to be able to articulate what they do well and what they have achieved. Mentors teach girls the words to the Strong Women, Strong Girls cheer, but we sometimes forget to highlight that one important message—“I am proud!”—should be followed by, “of me!” and that women need to say that sometimes.
Here are some creative tools beyond a strong resume that mentors in South Florida have used to share that they’re destined to lead:
- Personal “Business” Cards: Some mentors have created business cards for themselves that share contact information and a little “tag line” about their experience and skills. They can be made cheaply and they’re good to distribute during professional networking. One mentor even put her favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt on her card!
- Coffee Talk: Strong women business professionals in South Florida have been glad to meet with mentors over a café con leche to hear about mentors’ interests and leadership experience. These women have served as references to connect mentors to other people they know! Informal coffee is also low-stress practice for verbalizing your skills in an interview.
- Work that Social Network: A mentor was just accepted into the graduate program of her choice and promptly let her 500 closest friends know on Facebook! Besides being able to share in the excitement, her network now knows her great accomplishments (besides her fun weekend plans) and will remember it about her!
- Show Up! The more events, meetings, brunches, lunches and other networking opportunities you can attend, the larger your network will be! Show up professionally dressed (maybe with business cards in hand?) and be ready to “pitch” your strengths and needs to the people you meet! Mentors in South Florida often show up professionally dressed in SWSG’s favorite colors… pink and black!
- Thank You, And: South Florida mentors send thank you notes to people who donate supplies, people who meet with them and anyone who lends a hand. That thank you note can also be a reminder of the great things mentors mentioned about themselves: “Thank you for giving supplies so we can mentor girls who improve their community!” It shares the needed thanks and reminds the recipient that mentors are doing important service… and are proud of it!