I was on a panel a little while ago where myself and a few others were talking about what life is like as a junior investment banker. A question from the students – one I get asked often – was on how we balance our “life life” with our “working life”. Before I could answer, someone in the room jumped in and basically told this student not to overthink that – “life”? You shouldn’t even be worrying about that. Focus on your work. It’s safe to say, I totally disagreed with this idea. Whether you’re working for yourself, or you’re working in a more defined 9-5 type structure, whilst you are definitely going to be developing within your roll, it’s important to remember that there are also so many other ways to develop yourself outside of these realm. Making time for other stuff is so important for your sanity over the long term. The question usually goes – “well, how do you balance it all?”
“Nobody keeps it real like your parents. They compliment you behind your back and talk sh*t to your face.”
It’s definitely within British culture to be overly polite. I can be thinking “what the #$@&%*!” in my head but what will actually come out of my mouth will be “oh, it seems there has been a misunderstanding/miscommunication.” The one set of people you can actually count on in this world to “say it as it is” are typically your very own – your parents.
When I graduated university, my parents helped me get all moved into the current flat I’m in now. Once all my bags had been put in my room, and my parents had gotten out all their proud speeches about how it’s important to work hard, my mum told me it was time to switch up my style – “enough of this crop top and skirt thing, you’re a working girl now.” It was brash and to the point, as parents are, but – it was true. Since I had started university three years prior, I had spent near enough every day in a crop top, skirt, tights and chelsea boots. It got to the point where I went through a period of not even owning any useable jeans or trousers, because I spent my life in skater skirts and tights. Now – there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this. However, every day crop tops and skirts are definitely a “younger” look, and well, I was a big girl now – financial independent, moving out for real, for real, and getting geared up to spend most of my time sat at a desk. I was growing up, and my style had to grow up too.