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Guest Blog Series "My Curvy Life" - Can Fat Women Have Career Success?

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Guest Blog Series "My Curvy Life" - Can Fat Women Have Career Success?

Rachel Estapa

{Now through the end of October, I will present a series titled "My Curvy Life" featuring body-positive guest bloggers sharing personal stories on body image, daily life and various  plus-size perspectives. To submit your work to the series, read my blog requirements here}

FatCareerFinding Your Career Happy Place – What’s Your Body Got To Do With It? By Amanda Sartori

I love grand ideas! Even more, I love carving out a plan on how I’m going to make that grand idea happen. It’s passion, drive, and really, I can’t get enough! When it comes to my career, these ideas appear in so many ways. Some are fulfilled on the daily, but others take time. Currently, I’m at an interesting point in my life. I’m seeking out new experiences and learning more about what makes me tick. My grand ideas today are different from what they were three years ago, and that is okay with me.

As I began to think about this, I decided to picture my career happy place – that is, the height of my career. What I pictured was, in part quite comfortable and a reflection of me currently, it was also shocking. Having just returned from a bike ride, I was sitting on my porch overlooking a river that runs through my backyard and reading the news of the day on my laptop while sipping on my favorite tea.

The shocking part of this picture was - I wasn't fat. On some level, I felt removed from my picture.

After ruling out mind control and alien invasion (no disrespect, ET), I began to reflect on my vision of my career happy place. Can fat women have career success?  My answer to this question was, of course! There is nothing stopping me. Except there was, there is, and that is myself. I’ve sometimes caught myself thinking “If I weren't fat, I would have gotten that job!” or “If I were thin, that interview would have gone ten times better”. I know that these thoughts aren’t a positive influence on my career path, but it’s also so important to think through them.

Determined as I am to latch onto my next grand idea, part of that is knowing and believing that no matter my size, my career can flourish. I began to see my missing link…ownership. To me, that’s knowing and believing that my body is so valuable in every aspect of my life, including my career. I want to see myself, a fat woman, in that picture. That is part of believing that I can fulfill my next grand idea. Seeing myself there is owning my path.

So how do I get there?

Get Involved! Of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had in my career thus far, has been involvement in employee-led networks. Heck, I even co-founded one! As I engage with others and form relationships, I’m more open and confident in pursuing opportunities within my organization. I see the relationships that I make as a support, of people rooting me on. Fat girl can’t get the job? Yeah right! More like, she’s got her own personal cheering section!

Seek Out Mentorship Whether formally or informally, speaking to someone with whom you feel comfortable to share grand ideas and how to get there can be so beneficial. Talk about a great way to build your career confidence! Often, your mentor will point out things that you did not realize. It may even blow you away! Remember, mentorship doesn’t have to be one-on-one. Try tailoring your media intake to favor like-minded people who you find inspirational. Pro-tip: the fat positive blog-o-sphere is full of amazing and passionate ladies!

Understand Your Self-Confidence There’s a link between my self-confidence and my body – I can’t deny this. When I feel good about my body, I get a self-confidence boost. Feeling good about myself throughout the day allows me to delve into my career. What are some ways that I positively influence my self-confidence? I read brilliant articles from across the body positive community for connection and to learn. I peruse plus size fashion blogs for wardrobe inspiration. And most importantly, I listen to and I honor my body!

My next grand idea is going to be something completely new to me – and this fat woman is ready to own it!

What are your grand ideas? How do you build body confidence in the workplace? Connect with me on Twitter (@amandasartori_), I’d love to hear from you!

ASartori.PhotoAmanda Sartori is a fat positive advocate and budding body image blogger. After her days at the office you can find her on the Rideau Canal bike path, drinking tea, or dreaming up her next adventure. Give her a shout on Twitter (@amandasartori_).