Today is National Gain Day, a day to inspire and focus on everything we have to gain in 2013. And who better to inspire than Josephine, a woman whose world was shattered but turned it all into her dream life – here’s how…
Josephine is an energetic and outspoken lady who came to Dress For Success on a mission to take her life back and pursue her lifelong dreams.
At 45 her world was shattered. Her husband left her after a 15 year marriage; for a woman he had been having an affair with for 10 of those 15 years. She lost the life she had worked towards for 20 years. Josephine now a disappointed, heartbroken woman who sacrificed her career and aspirations to raise a family, support her husband’s career, build a home and conform.
Now with two young boys, she moved house 4 times in 2 years and Josephine endured 4 court battles in just over 3 years fighting for them. She wanted them to witness a strong independent happy mother who leads by example and practices what she preaches.
Two years ago Josephine came to Dress for Success Sydney as a broken, vulnerable woman trying to piece her life back together, with great hopes of re-establishing her career. Despite business and life experience getting back into the work environment after a 10 year absence proved quiet difficult. To an employer she lacked the confidence needed. But with a new outfit and the support and encouragement of Dress for Success Sydney she went out to conquer the world and she got a job; the first step to a new and better life for Josephine.
Today Josephine is managing 5 ventures, she is living her life-long dream of being an entrepreneur. At 17 it was a dream, at 35 a fantasy, at 45 a memory and now a reality. She is now helping other women find their feet and follow their dreams through her weekend market clothing enterprise and her life coaching business. Josephine is keen to share her experiences to help other women find the courage to move forward from difficult personal situations.
1. Many women deal with huge challenges to their marriages, family lives and careers. How did you pick up the pieces and create the life you wanted?
It was a very slow process. For me it was about finding out who I am and remembering who I wanted to be. I also had to accept my part in the breakdown of my marriage even though I felt like the victim. I needed to re-invent myself with a world of challenges and responsibilities on my plate. It was definitely the hardest thing I ever had to do.
2. What are your three favourite confidence boosters?
1. Looking the best I can, which often meant putting lipstick on especially on my bad days.
2. Believing in myself and knowing that I can achieve all of your dreams because it’s never too late.
3. Remembering to take back the power within me, which all women have, and using this power to be the best I can be.
3. How do you motivate yourself when you’re feeling low?
I found positive affirmations a good start; mine was “never give up, never give up, get up, shut up, move forward, never give up.” Had to remind myself, and know in my heart, that everything passes. It is very inspiring to read true stories about other people, and women in particular, that have achieved great things against incredible odds. It reassures me that it can be done.
Children have a way of making mothers stronger, to get up even when the body is broken weather you like it or not. Life just keeps happening and before you know it you’re smiling at a funny joke and your back in the world again. Exercise reminds me I am strong and capable, dancing reminds me I am alive and sex reminds me I’m a woman.
4. What tips do you have for women who have been out of the workforce for a while and looking to get back in?
Use all the resources available to you, believe in yourself, have an open mind and think outside the square. Consider being your own boss as you need the flexibility if you are a mother. When you do something you love it doesn’t feel like work at all. It’s also really important to stop and think about who you are, what you love doing and never giving up. Fake it till you make it.
Dress for Success are a key stepping stone in this proces. They helping women gain confidence, believe in themselves and look the part. Career Support Program is also there to help you through the process of getting the job and keeping it.
5. What resources can you recommend for women getting back into the workforce?
I recommend that you surround yourself with women in a similar situation to your own, as they are the only ones that can truly understand. Let’s face it – you can’t really know a situation or how hard it can be unless you have lived through it. Only then do you know what to say to really offer constructive advice and help. Support is crucial in difficult times.
Today is National Gain Day, a movement committed to turning negative New Year’s resolutions into positive aspirations, by urging Australian women to focus on everything they have to gain in 2013, rather than what they’ve got to give up. For every positive goal, aspiration or ambition declared, Special K will donate $1 to Dress For Success throughout January and $2 for today only! Declare your gain now!