Girl · boss — /ɡərlbôs/ — a strong, motivated, and independent woman who is unafraid to take risks and takes charge in her work and life.
A girl boss can take on many shapes and forms. A girl boss is not defined by her successes but by how she bounces back and learns from failure. Most importantly, being a girl boss means believing in yourself and having the independence and confidence to do what once seemed impossible.
Inspired after a night of binge watching season one of “Girlboss” on Netflix, I created my own guide to unleash your own inner girl boss. Here’s how you can become a strong, independent and completely fierce woman like Sophia Amoruso.
Find something you love
As annoyingly elusive and vague as the words “find your passion” are, this is the first step to becoming a girl boss. Think about what you do in your free time, when you’re unburdened by expectations or any anxiety. Think about the problems you face as a student, citizen, developer, or designer that are in need of a solution. If you’re like me and like everything organized and laid out in front of you, make a list! This method of brainstorming will simplify your thoughts and allow you to identify your hidden passion.
Be fearless — Take initiative!
No hesitations. No fear. Give it everything you’ve got. Yes, I agree it’s easier said than done. Think about future you, a month, a year, ten years from now. Does future you always stay in her comfort zone, or does she take a chance? How different does the future look in those scenarios. Which scenario makes you the most proud? My guess is the one where you took a leap and tried something new. Wouldn’t you rather live with “oh wells” than “what ifs?” I know I would. Nothing feels better than being proud of how fierce you were.
But don’t just listen to me, here’s some encouragement from Shia LaBeouf:
Learn. Immerse. Repeat.
The only way you can be successful in any field is to learn — Be a sponge. Make sure you know your stuff. I mean come on, intelligence is also sexy. There is no finish line or destination when it comes to learning; we are lifelong students. Immerse yourself in your field. Read the latest news, stay up to date with new product releases and innovations in technology, etc. When you’re done, rinse and repeat!
Learning is a lifelong process, and is what makes people so interesting and inspiring. It’s what makes us lose track of time discussing things like Moore’s law or the future of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Being knowledgable in your field and holding your own in intellectual conversations is integral to success. Blow people away with what you know. Who knows, it may even open up doors to opportunities you never thought possible.
For you coders out there, here are a few coding resources:
- Codecademy - learn to code, interactively, for free
- Learn to Code Online with Code School | Code School
- Online Courses - Learn Anything, On Your Schedule | Udemy
Talk to People
One of the most critical and overlooked steps to being a girl boss is: talking to people. I’ve found that the best way to learn isn’t just through online classes or textbooks, but through discussions with others in the field. It’s also one of the most engaging forms of learning. Take the initiative to put yourself out there. Build your network. Meet with CEOs, CTOs, founders of companies, developers, designers, people with similar ambitions, people experiencing the same challenges as you: be a sponge. Be curious. Ask questions. Ask for advice. Seek help.
No number of hours of reading or learning in a classroom/online will prepare for the realities of working your field. Learn from professionals or students in the field who have gone through a similar path you are about to embark on. Hear what they have to say. But remember, everyone’s path is different. Theirs is just one of many. It may seem scary at first, especially if you’re not one who’s particulary used to being an extrovert. But go ahead and take the leap! 9 times out of 10 people are willing to help and bestow their knowledge upon you.
Keep an Eye Out At All Times
Seek opportunities… constantly. Great opportunities won’t land in your lap. Keep an eye out and stay in the know with your growing network!
Some great ways to find success in your passions are :
1 . Seeing what it’s like to work in the field with internships or career shadowing.
- Jobs & Internships for College Students and Recent Grads | WayUp
- Internships - Internship Search and Intern Jobs
2. Taking on projects. This can be done in the comfort of your own home, as you sit on your couch in your favorite PJs or blast music from your bedroom speakers. If you’re struggling with project ideas, refer to your list of passions you brainstormed previously. You can convert your passion into an interesting projects like building your own website, developing an app, creating your own algorithm, etc.
3. Go to events like hackathons, meetups, or competitions. Attending events like these are great ways to meet others like you in the field. There, you can work with some really cool people, expand your network, keep in touch with the latest news or breakthroughs, and hear what others have to say about their experiences.
Embrace Failure (Because the struggle is real)
Like anything in life, the road to becoming a girl boss has its many road bumps. Failure is awesome. It makes successes so much sweeter, doesn’t it? Easy is boring. Remember the struggle is real, not only for you but the millions of other people in the world going through the same thing. So keep you’re head up!
Remind Yourself You’re Doing Great
Be confident. Feel good about yourself and what you’re doing. Be PROUD! Remind yourself you are already a girl boss just by putting yourself out there, jumping out of your comfort zone, and embarking on this amazing (yet difficult) journey to success.
Being a girl boss isn’t just in the results, the things you do, or your successes: it’s a mindset. It’s a sense of confidence we women must instill in ourselves and our communities, to make us fierce enough to take the world by storm. Become the best version of you you can be, and don’t apologize for it.
Go check out Girlboss on Netflix here: