Mini-Post: Female Ambition

I was talking with a male coworker once about another one of our female peers. I told him that I’d asked for her advice on something, and he said this to me:

“She’s highly respected here. She’d be good to get close to. But she’s also very ambitious, so be careful. She might try to take your project from you.” I stared at him for a second, and then said, “I trust her.”

I’m a pretty forgetful person, so I tend to forget a lot of what people tell me, unless I write it down quickly. Sometimes, though, words sit with me and come back to me over and over again. That’s what happened this time. “She’s very ambitious, be careful.”

Why is there such a stigma in the workplace about ambitious women?

No one has ever said anything like that to me about our male coworkers. “Oh, be careful. He’s pretty ambitious. He might just screw you over.”

It’s no secret that there is still a double standard that exists in the modern workplace. Our culture really is getting better, and I’m blessed to work in an environment that supports me and allows me to broaden my horizons. But whenever people say things like the statement about my ambitious female colleague, it makes me wonder about how far we’ve come.

I’m not an expert on feminism. In fact, I spent a lot of my life thinking feminism was a bad thing. As I grow more comfortable in my skin and have started deciding the things I want to accomplish in my career, I’ve learned that I agree with the statements that feminists make.

This is not a blog centered around feeling offended, or complaining about how women are treated unfairly in the workplace. This is a blog centered around empowering professionals, to earn success through organization, productivity, and altruistic service of others.

So here we go.

Sisters, what are your dreams?

What are your passions? Are you doing what you’ve always wanted to do with your life? If you’re not, what would you want to be different?

You are working for a purpose. You don’t just clock in, sit at a desk, then clock out. Determine your reason for working, and run toward it. Sprint toward it. There’s nothing wrong with working as hard as you possibly can to achieve greatness.

Do you support your family? Work for them. Succeed for them.

Do you have dreams of retiring early, without being financially dependent upon anything? Work for that.

Even if the specific tasks you’re doing aren’t your passion, you can still be passionate about your purpose.

Here’s your challenge:

Be bold. Be courageous. Be confident. Don’t let anybody’s opinion of you tell you that you’re incapable of greatness, or that it’s wrong to desire success. You are capable of greatness. You can achieve incredible success. If you don’t feel confident right now, fake it ‘till you make it. Keep learning, keep trying, and keep growing until confidence beams out of every smile, every greeting, every encouraging word.

Ambition is not a bad thing unless you allow it to hurt others. Embrace your ambition. Let it drive you toward success.

You can be a leader. You just need to grab the right tools.

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