You have to nurture the essence of who you are – An interview with Elizabeth Uviebinené

By Mali, Katrina, Iulia • 13 April 2022

Iulia, Katrina and Mali, 3 of our Advisory Panel members, got the chance to interview author Elizabeth Uviebinené. In this blog, Mali shares with us some of their conversation, focusing on burnout and making work sustainable.

It is not every day that you get the chance to speak with a multi-award winning author, voted one of The Most Influential People in London and a Leading Woman in Europe. However, this is exactly what Katrina, Iulia and I got the opportunity to do recently. Elizabeth Uviebinené is co-author of Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, and sole author of The Reset, both of which were widely successful and well received. As you could probably imagine, we were excited to sit down and speak with her. We chatted about how to stop work being your identity and the reality of burnout.

Iulia, Katrina and Mali: In your book, The Reset, you mentioned that we should stop letting work be our identity. How do you think young women can do this?

Liz: I am such a big believer in building relationships and having hobbies outside of how you make money. It helps us not have our identity solely tied to our jobs and helps to avoid a toxic relationship with work, as we put all our worth in what we do.

I love being an author but there are so many other parts of who I am that also need nurturing. All of these things could go tomorrow, but regardless of what office you go to, what book you write, what presentation you do at work, you always have to keep nurturing the essence of who you are.

Iulia, Katrina and Mali: How could we have a more sustainable way of working for young women, especially if we are facing burnout early on in our career?

Liz: Our careers are not sprints, they are marathons. I think that sometimes you need to put the work in and do the long hours. But it is also important to have an end date, and have boundaries. Everyone needs room to work in a way that suits their life more, and we need more autonomy in how we work.

It starts with something as small as your day and thinking about what you would want your ideal day to look like. That is what workplaces and organisations need to help more young people and everyone with. To do better they need to listen and be more intuitive. I think that the workplace needs to be more receptive to people having different lifestyles. There are ways to make sure that we are all on the same page, and vision but we all have different roles in order to get there.

Iulia, Katrina, Mali: Finally, would you encourage more people to get involved with Young Women’s Trust?

Liz: We need more young women – we need more people – to be in tune with the amazing work that you are all doing already, amplifying it and sharing it within their networks. It is genuinely so important.

After speaking with Liz, I thought a lot about how many of us could benefit from incorporating her ideas into our daily lives. With burnout recently declared an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organization, it is clear that these issues are more critical than ever. We look forward to seeing what 2022 brings for Liz.


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