Excuse me, self? Please move.

A big reason why I decided to go to graduate school is because I had the foolish thought that after graduation, I was not qualified to do anything in the real world yet. As a student, it’s easy to skip over positions that have a long list of qualifications - I mean, all we’ve ever done is go to school, right? How could anyone possibly be qualified? 

After a lot of thought and phone calls with mentors, I started thinking about why I thought I wasn’t capable of having real professional responsibilities. I discovered that it’s actually quite popular among a lot of people, not just millennials, but women in general. 

Wait, what? We’ve got Ellen, Wonder Women, Jackie, Katherine Johnson, and so many more iconic women who change the world to look up to - how could we possibly feel under qualified? According to a Hewlett Packard report, men apply for a job in which they meet about 60% of the qualifications, while women only apply to job where they meet 100% of the qualifications. 

We can read about trail-blazing women until the day is done, but until we realize that the confidence they have is also within ourselves, we will always be selling ourselves short. The answer? No one is actually ever fully qualified - it’s about convincing people that what you've done so far and who you are is enough to make you a good hire. 

In one of my classes, our professor asked the class full of women what our story was. All he heard was an awkward silence, until one student finally spoke up. She said that we’re too young, many of us don’t have some incredible back story about how we got to where we are. Many of us are waiting for that story to begin. After a pause, he told us that each of us has a story to tell the world, an interesting one. That made me realize that I have 24 years of experience under my belt - now it’s just a matter of showing that to the world. 

As women, there’s a certain lack of ego and confidence that translates into our workplace and our ambitions. As soon as we get out of our own heads and out of our own way, we can reach an even higher potential. And we can start to build a world where young girls never doubt their value and worth. 


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