by Kellee Weinhold, TPII Productivity Coach and Interview Intervention Coach
One of the remnants of my life as a journalism professor is attending to the success and failure of advertising campaigns. I wasn’t in the field of advertising, but many of my students were advertising majors and many of my favorite colleagues were (and are) advertising faculty. Advertising campaign successes and failures were the stuff of hallway conversations.
Which is a long-winded explanation for how I came upon the new Revlon campaign- #revlonritual. The agency that created it had been charged with reviving an aging brand. Their first step was to engage with women around the country about things that made them feel beautiful. The agency recruited 710 women, sent them beauty supplies, and asked them to do a seven-step ritual once a day for at least four days.
Here is the ritual:
1. Look at yourself in the mirror.
2. Use your favorite fragrance.
3. Apply your eye makeup.
4. Have a piece of chocolate.
5. Put on a new lipstick or gloss.
6. Take a deep breath.
7. Smile at yourself.
Let me pause briefly to say to all of you who don’t really know about me, I am not remotely engaged with the idea that beauty and self-love come from fragrances, eye makeup and lipstick (if you’re curious, Karen wrote about me in this blog post, How To Dress for an Interview As a Butch Dyke). For me, they are cis-gendered and anxiety producing, and make me feel slightly nauseous. But I also recognize that for many who identify as cis-gendered females, they are a joy.
The campaign got me thinking about rituals of self-care. The ones that make you feel better about yourself, whoever you define that “self” to be. And because here at TPII we are all about the academic job market, I eventually landed on pondering what daily ritual might offer respite from the stress and anxiety of looking for a job.
So, here is my complete rip off of the Revlon campaign. I invite you take part in the academic job market version of a self-care ritual. For at least a week try the following things and let us know if it has any effect on improving your state of mind as you start your day in the ego bruising experience of applying for academic jobs.
1. Look at yourself in the mirror brush/comb your hair and teeth and smile.
2. Dress as if you are going to coffee with a friend. In other words, something other the dirty sweats, yoga pants or boxers you picked up off your bedroom floor.
3. Put on your favorite adornment: Bracelet. Hat. Necklace. Cologne. Glasses. Ear Gauge. Anything that makes you feel good.
4. Listen to your favorite song, sing it at the top of your lungs and move! (Power ballads for the win!)
5. Fix yourself your favorite tea, coffee, smoothie or juice.
6. Write a single sentence of encouragement and post it on your computer.
7. Take a deep breath.
And then, and only then…
- Begin those job applications
Working with my Unstuck coaching clients has taught me that one of the biggest challenges to consistency and productivity is lack of self-care. Contrary to the myth of academia, working more and harder does not equate to producing more. Indeed, the rabbi of our synagogue recently remarked that when her friends ask her how she gets so much accomplished despite taking a full 24 hours off each week for Shabbat, she responds, “I get so much accomplished BECAUSE I take a full 24 hours off each week for Shabbat.”
Rest and rejuvenation are essential. My coaching clients report amazing results when they actually take the time off that their bodies and minds are telling them they need.
So, let’s adapt this for the job market. Try these eight steps of self-care. Let me know if they make a difference. Let’s call it: #JobMarketRitual
If you’re interested in working with me on Unstuck Productivity Coaching, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.