Women and work: imperfectly perfect

Posted on March 20th, by Harriet in A Brush With The Law. No Comments

Granted, the best day to start a series of blog posts following a Law Society event for International Women’s Day would be 8th March. If that didn’t happen, though, the next best day would be …well, any day really, just as long as it got started eventually.

Clearly, I am a little late, and I’ll get to the reason for that in a bit. But it would be all to easy, for a perfectionist, to think,’I’ve left it too long now, so I won’t do it at all.’ And this kind of perfectionism is one of the many issues that women can struggle with when trying to manage a career. Especially if we are academic types and were used to being good in school, we can assume that when we eventually get into the workplace we need to perform well, not just to get stuff done, but to win approval and to be accepted.

Well, work is different. Sometimes, we just can’t get things as perfect as we’d like and we have to settle for good enough. Of course, this does not apply to the core element of our work – surgeons must excel at operating, pilots must fly their planes brilliantly and teachers must nurture their students diligently. But the other stuff, you know, sometimes we have to allow it to be ‘just ok.’

Because straight As don’t exist in the workplace, or, in fact, in any life that includes a mixture of work and family. Or a mixture of work and anything.

So I didn’t start the blog series straight away because I have some rather serious family stuff going on which has required a lot of my time and attention and my own professional work took up the rest of my resources. That’s ok. I balanced those things as well as I could and let some other things rest for a bit.

But not for ever. That is the secret of imperfect action. Just because you didn’t do it perfectly it doesn’t mean you can’t have a go. No blog at all is, well, no blog at all. But an imperfect – or late – blog is still something. It’s very much worth doing.

The event that inspired this new start, ‘Women, Doing It Differently,’ addressed some important issues for female lawyers and working women in general, so I’ll be taking some of these in turn to look at them in more detail. Alongside looking at how we can possibly cope with the myth of ‘having it all,’ which often translates into the reality of ‘doing it all.’

So here we are, starting imperfectly but starting nonetheless. Follow me here or on twitter @harrietewstack and please share your own experiences if you would like to.

Tomorrow I will tell you about my personalised blogging rules designed to get the imperfect posts out there rather than keeping them as perfect posts in my head!


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