Ale and I spent the last few days of 2020 together in regional Victoria taking a break and reflecting on our friendship and all that we had achieved in the year with Gals. Like most temporary visa holders in Australia, we both experienced a roller coaster of emotions throughout the last year when the COVID outbreak happened, our morale was low for ourselves and our friends now without work, but especially thinking of the health of our families back in our home countries
However, as frequently happens with the majority of challenging situations in life, COVID and the lockdown period meant a huge change and growth for Gals en Australia as an organisation and for us individually which led us to a meaningful conclusion: we have been so lucky in unlucky times.
Here are some of the main things we could learn from 2020 that led us to the above conclusion:
#1 It is ok to feel fear but don't let it stop you from reaching your goals:
One of the reasons Gals en Australia was born is because we have personally experienced the challenges of being a migrant woman trying their best to learn a new language and trying to progress our career overseas. We are aware of the several fears and insecurities that the job hunting process represents itself.
However, 2020 brought the opportunity for Ale to apply for a senior role, after several years doubting herself and her ability to perform well in the role -she did it!-. In my case, 2020 pushed me to be brave and persistent, ending up finding my first professional opportunity in Australia. This was in no small part due to the community that is Gals en Australia, where we have been able to learn so much from everyone there. We are not just here to support each other in times of need but to also celebrate in the successes and learn from those who have been there before us, you are our inspiration. In other words, last year taught us that when we give ourselves the opportunity to chase our dreams, fear is a companion but not an impediment.
#2 The limits are in your head:
In 2020 we launched our mentoring program -The Gals Tribe- which has allowed us to connect more deeply and directly with 9 Gals that are working towards finding a professional job in Australia. During our first session in December, we did a discovery session to know which they think is the main challenge as professional migrant women.
Guess the result? 100% of the Gals think they are not good enough in their professions nor their English proficiency. We feel you, Gals, we have been there, we still are sometimes (or more). However, 2020 showed us that we have to give it a try even if we are not -perfect- because most of the companies are not looking for perfect applicants, they are looking for people willing to commit and nail what they do the best, and we have no doubt you are all on that side already.
#3 It is not possible to help someone else if you don't look after yourself first:
Finally, we learned -and we have to recognise that it took us almost the entire year- for taking a time to rest and taking care of ourselves is necessary if we want to support others. In other words, there is no healthy way to help others if we behave as blind in front of our own emotional needs and we don’t give ourselves the self-care and compassion that we deserve.
2020 taught us that self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Therefore, our best advice for 2021 is that you should spend as much time with yourself as you need walking away from whatever no longer serves you.
See you in the next entry, Gals!---If there is any topic you want us to write about next month, drop us a message at email@example.com