5 characteristics of a truly elegant, modern woman
1. Have a career: One can always turn a hobby into a job, but never run a career as a hobby. When you mistake a hobby as a career that edge would be missing. Having a fulfilling career is not always because of your financial independence, having a career shapes you mentally and emotionally, and helps you to become level-headed and more responsible. A job that doesn't pay your rent is a waste of time. So have a career that secures you in the long run and helps you to create your individuality.
2. Be financially responsible: Pay for your own higher education, if possible. Or, take a loan from family members and pledge to return it within 6-12 months. Remember, it's a sense of responsibility. An independent, modern woman never takes advantage of love and relationships, even if it's from your father. Have your emergency fund, start securing for your retirement fund by 30. You are never too young or too old to be financially sorted. Also, be mindful of spending, it's great if you are fortunate to be in a secure establishment or born in a privileged family, but being financially responsible shows that you are more mindful of life.
3. Plan your lifestyle: Don't cut down on the lifestyle that you enjoy, just be smart and mindful of frivolous spending on unnecessary things like cosmetics or impulsive shopping or sudden expenditures incurred out of boredom. You will be amazed at how much money you save. I have mastered this over the years. Easier said than done, however. I don't have a single item in my closet or in my collection of accessories that I impulsively bought. I think many times, and sometimes for many years, before I buy a single watch. And I do it myself; it's just a sweeter elixir of accomplishment.
4. Marriage is not an economic proposition: Be financially independent before you take that big leap in life. Just don't get married unless you know you can well look after yourself without your husband's financial support. I am not recommending you to marry a man who doesn't have a secure career, please never make that mistake of marrying a man who doesn't have a stable job or a promising vision. But be financially independent, because you will be a very confident woman and it would be a fulfilling experience from within.
5. 'I am just a homemaker' taboo: It's way more challenging to be a homemaker. It's more complicated than having a career because let's face it, nobody works more than 8-10 hours a day at work. But a homemaker is a 24-hour responsibility where your family is entirely in need of your support. Being a homemaker is a huge responsibility; you are responsible for a stable, secure home where your children can have a good upbringing, the home finances are looked after. Also, sometimes you are the wind beneath your husband's success. It's a full-time responsibility. So please own it, gracefully and with full honour.
Next week, I will discuss the importance of not losing your femininity in the male-dominated business world. Till then #beextraordinary
Konkana Bakshi, founder, Savoir Faire Academie and former Miss Elegance World