The infamous battle against Flossie

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending a Springboard Women’s Development programme facilitated by the fantastic Alison Trinder. A programme which focuses on providing women with the tools to realise their values and goals and help overcome hurdles that typically hold us back from achieving them – be that confidence, assertiveness or even being sure what you want and is important to you is what you originally thought.

After each workshop I was inspired by a speaker who shared their own personal stories on how their career and personal paths had developed and changed since doing the programme and how they were now on a career path they had ownership of and felt positive about. I came out each time feeling I could take on the world. Before I knew it I would have a role that inspired me, where I was valued, being offered personal and professional development and still able to meet my family commitments. If you have participated in Springboard, I’m sure this sounds familiar.

Source: Flickr: seelensturm (CC-BY-2.0 License)

One of my biggest takeaways from the programme was the realisation that I am a ‘Flossie’. Upon first hearing the term I had images of candy floss … ah that’s nice, sweet, memories of childhood …. hmmm, not quite. Flossie is a term used to describe a person who is typically head down always focused on their work and the tasks they have been assigned, they will work 150% to get the jobs done, taking on more work than they really have time to do. In return, a Flossie believes this hard work will be recognised and valued by their peers to get offered that promotion and opportunities to grow.

Does that happen in reality … no … which leads the Flossie to feeling stressed, under pressure, undervalued and feeling that they are perhaps not doing enough yet to be recognised and therefore making little progress in their career.

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a Flossie.

Upon covering this topic in the Springboard workbook it was like reading my personal profile of how I approach my work and is now something I recognise I’ve always done in my career to date, though I would argue in my case it is complicated by other factors.

So how do you stop being a Flossie? It’s easy, you know you’re a Flossie now so you just stop, right? Well I’ve come to realise in the past week (two months on since the end of Springboard) that I am still well and truly stuck in Flossie-mode, and it is proving much harder to break out of than I first thought. Some steps to unbecoming a Flossie include things like networking, putting yourself out there so you get noticed in the workplace and wider community so you can be visibly seen (or virtually in my world).

I’m an introvert and putting myself ‘out there’ doesn’t come naturally though I am prepared to take those risks but when you are still faced with that mountain of work and expectation that is not going to change the ability to stop being a Flossie becomes 10 times harder. I’m consciously aware I am stuck in the Flossie trap and it’s a battle I am no closer to winning.

Does that mean I’m resigned to being a Flossie? Absolutely not! I might be an introvert but I’m also incredibly determined. Okay I would have previously used the term stubborn – but that may be perceived as aggressive. 🙂 I still want that role that inspires me, where I am valued, being offered personal and professional development and still able to meet my family commitments. I have those moments where I am seething at the situation and the struggle to be able to break out of flossie-mode, but I also I recognise the moments where I have been able to take some baby steps which are better than no steps whatsoever.

If you have identified yourself as a Flossie either through doing Springboard or reading about it elsewhere I’d love to know what steps you took or are taking.


2 Replies to “The infamous battle against Flossie”

  1. Great first blog post Kelly!!!
    I completely agree our Springboard Progrsmme and Alison was inspirational.
    Something that you might find useful is this site on leadership for introverts:
    It has some useful tips and suggestions for putting yourself out there when it doesn’t come naturally.
    Hope it helps….

    Best wishes,

  2. Lovely BLOG Kelly – thank you for reminding us about our own Flossie tendencies….. keep practicing!!!


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