You have a lot of important relationships in your life. There’s your partner, your parents, your close friends, your friends you see once in a blue moon, but when you do it’s like no time has passed at all, your dog…you get the picture. But, there’s one relationship that’s grossly undervalued and widely overlooked: the work wife.
It’s pretty much unwritten law that every woman needs a work wife (or spouse)—a peer who who makes you feel like you can take on anything; like you can tackle the world. The work-wife relationship isn’t a mentorship or advisory, as is typically demonstrated with someone at your same stage within a company. No, the work wife becomes your fast friend, your confidant, and your coffee break co-conspirator.
Why do we love these rare and meaningful dynamics so much? What makes them so important? If you don’t already have an entire Google Doc filled with your own slew of reasons, here are a few that just might convey your sentiments:
She gives you validation when you need it, doesn’t look at your relationship as competition, and is someone that’s always on your side: This is so valuable when most workplaces encourage advancement through competition. When it’s you and your work wife, you can feel safe and supported knowing your ally won’t do you wrong.
She remembers your coffee order: The bottom line here is thoughtfulness. It’s easy to hyper-focus on your own responsibilities and challenges in the workplace. Let’s face it: your team or mentor won’t be the most reliable (thus shouldn’t be wholly counted on) to remember that you exclusively prefer sugar-free vanilla to the classic alternative. But, your work wife always remembers.
She knows when you’re rolling your eyes, even if you haven’t rolled your eyes yet: She understands your frustrations, knows a good venting session does wonders, and sees the same opportunities for growth within the organization. It’s validating to know you’re not the only one who hates 7 a.m. check-in calls, and even better when she lets you know you’re not alone.
She sends your dream job listing as soon as it’s published: Your work wife remembers that you have bigger goals than your current job affords, and she knows you’re capable of more.
She’s on your side: Due to sexism in the workplace, women have had to historically band together for opportunities and solidarity. In 2020, the challenges may be lessened and/or more subtle, but they still exist. It’s still rare to find women in the C suite, and even in middle management. Times are changing as we all become aware of the power of human-centric leadership. People-focused skills have been immensely developed in women, and this provides us a chance to uphold one another’s gifts.
She makes sure you receive credit in a meeting: No credit snatching here! Most women are tuned in to the challenges that one another might face. A win for one is a win for all!
If you haven’t already caught on, what this all boils down to is the fact that you likely value your work wife because she’s a source of support. She does have her limitations, however, in that she’s primarily focused on her own career. Support, validation, and future-focused conversation help us reach our fullest potential, and when we take that external to the office itself our results multiply. Leadership coaching developed as a way to create an external source of encouragement and unbiased/objective encouragement. Someone who sees your potential as it is, so that you can reach greater levels of achievement.
Many people think there’s no reason to hire a leadership coach until they’re an official manager. But, the opposite is actually true. If you know that you want to be a leader—an individual with a perspective and authority—now is the time to start to understand what that looks like for you.
There’s a reason companies spend tens of thousands of dollars on leadership coaching each year for their high-potential employees; it makes them better, faster.
But, you don’t have to wait until your boss decides you’re ready to start expanding your horizons. You can take your career into your own hands and create the type of support benefits you wish you had. More and more, individuals who want to achieve big things are hiring coaches for themselves. It feels good to have someone else believe in you, doesn’t it?
Tell your work wife “thank you”, buy her a coffee, and then book a call with me.