Own your Accomplishments

Over these last few days I have been hosting the #StrategicInstaChallenge on Instagram. Everyday I give participants a post assignment, and today they were asked to do a #ThrowbackThursday post about a time in their career when they felt happy or proud. My post was a throwback to June 2013, graduation day!

Graduating from both The University of Winnipeg and Red River College never really seemed like a big deal to me. I always knew I was going to go to a post-secondary school; I never really saw it as an option not to. And it wasn’t like I had the type of family who pressured me to go to university or college. As a kid I wanted to go because I saw it on TV and in movies and it looked like fun. As a teenager I figured I needed a diploma or a degree to get a good job. University or college was simply just something I was going to do. But here I am a few years after graduating and I’m just now starting to realize what a big accomplishment that was. I’m the first person in my family since my grandpa to get a post-secondary education. My mom was a single parent struggling to make ends meet, and I still went to university. There are a number of obstacles that could’ve prevented me from furthering my education, but I looked passed all of those things and just kept working towards something I wanted, and I got it. Actually, I got it twice.

Even though I was a girl with a communications degree in her back pocket, it still took me a good seven months before I found a grown-up job. Yes, I was one of those people who thought employers would be banging down my door to have me work for them. Apparently that wasn’t the case, so you can imagine how grateful I was when I finally got the “Congratulations! You’re hired” phone call. I remember getting the call when I was on my dinner break while I was working at The Body Shop, and it took everything I could to keep myself from jumping up and down for joy right in the middle of that food court. Come to think of it, that’s probably exactly what I did!

My new position of Event Planning & Design Coordinator especially excited me because I had wanted to be an event planner for quite some time at that point, and there I was living the dream. Well, one of them anyway. I was working with clients instead of customers, having lunch meetings instead of lunch breaks, and designing tablescapes instead of storefronts. I felt proud, accomplished, and I was ready to do more.

I had planned at least 15 different events with the company (including five weddings!), and although I was working my dream job, something wasn’t quite right. Yes I was able to put my creative input in here and there, but I didn’t have the creative control I craved. Yes, I’m a woman who likes to have control once in a while. So sue me!

It was time to look for something else, and as luck would have it, there was an opening for a Corporate Event Planner at a college in northern Alberta. I never imagined myself working for a post-secondary institution, but hey, you go where the opportunities are. One of things that attracted me to the position was the freedom I had to take initiative and make my visions come to fruition. How awesome is that? I’ve been with the college for over a year and a half and I’ve planned galas, golf tournaments, student events, you name it! I’ve learned new skills and made new connections, and have grown even more confident in my abilities to plan a kick-ass event. 

I’ve been doing one of my dream jobs professionally for a few years now, but late last year I realized something was missing. Although event planning was a dream for a long time, my ultimate goal in life is to be a successful owner of a public relations/communications firm! No surprise there right? I mean, look whose website you’re on.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve known I wanted to build my own business from the ground up. The type of business I wanted to run changed numerous times from a babysitting business, to a bakery, to photography studio. But alas, a PR/communications is what I decided on a long time ago, and who knows what that might turn into 10 years down the road.

I launched Strategic Charm Boutique only four short months ago, and boy has it been a roller coaster experience. I learn something new everyday about entrepreneurship, the creative industry, and myself. Real talk: there have been good days, and bad days, and yesterday was a mixture of the two. Luckily I had scheduled a massage for myself a few weeks prior so the bad part of my day got better while I was face down listening to Zen-like music as a kind stranger rubbed me down.

When I’m having a bad day or a bad moment, I think about all I’ve accomplished so far and get excited thinking about all I’ll accomplish in the years to come. This is where I’m supposed to be. This is what I want to be doing. This is what makes me happy (cue Pharrell). I guess the point of this blog post today is to remind you that no matter where you are in your journey, you’ve come along way and you should be proud. If you ever forget that you’re a badass, reach out to me and I’ll remind you just how much of a badass you are. We can be badasses together!