Sigh. Working life is so complicated. No matter how many books or articles you read about careers (yes, even ours), the insights they give are usually for a wider audience. As a result, it’s impossible to find insights tailored specifically to you.
Enter the ‘Careers Fight Club’. The idea is simple. Round up a group of your most driven, savvy friends. Then, you set up a regular meeting – think every fortnight, or monthly. Go into the meeting with a topic agenda, and hash out your goals and obstacles with the people who know you best.
Jessica Bennett came up with the concept, speaking about it in her book ‘Feminist Fight Club: An Office Manual For A Sexist Workplace’.
“There are so many books. but none of them really spoke to me as a millennial about what I was actually facing,” Bennett said. In an interview with Refinery29, she mentioned monthly get-togethers actually inspired her to write her book.
Now you can do the same. Here are Debut’s top tips on starting your very own Careers Fight Club:
Make your group as diverse and varied as possible
The more perspectives you have in the group, the more likely it is you’ll find the solution to your problem. Seeing things from somebody else’s point of view might help you approach your obstacle in a different light.
So if you’re doing marketing, invite an engineer to your Fight Club. Inclusivity, isn’t it the best?
Whatever is said in the Careers Fight Club stays in the Careers Fight Club
These meetings are meant to be a safe space for you to vent, discuss awkward issues and probably complain about their co-workers. It’s healthy to have a place to talk about your gripes, not so healthy if you’re feeling anxious about your secrets getting out.
Keep it on the down low, and be understanding about people’s sensitive information.
Set an agenda beforehand
It’s easy to go off on tangents when you’re chatting with your mates. Aim to come to the meeting with at least two or three questions, so you’re more likely to have a productive discussion.
It doesn’t have to stop with your real-life meetings
Make a Whatsapp group! Become an admin of a Facebook one, or, if you’re feeling really advanced, start a community on Slack. It’s always nice to have easy access to your favourite careers advisers – just make sure to be respectful of people’s work hours.
Follow-up with the action points
The good thing about doing things as a group is that you can hold each other accountable. Ask each other about your respective progress, and support one another through difficult problems.
Often, anxiety gets in the way of putting something into action, so this is a good way to curb any issue-avoiding.
Don’t be afraid of the uncomfortable stuff
Now is the best time to bring up stuff you were too afraid to ask. If you ever wondered if it was appropriate to ask your boss for a promotion, this is your chance.
No issue is too big or too small
Honestly, if someone wanted to talk about small things like how to get their co-worker to stop eating smelly crisps, let them do it. Inversely, you could go so far as to have a large discussion about discrimination at work.
Your Fight Club can do anything. Let us know if you start one by tweeting us @DebutCareers!
Feature Image © 20th Century Fox