I need to brag about my youngest daughter because she proved herself a good role model to other Millennials.
My daughter is in school to become a veterinary technician where she is required to do internships. She wanted to do an internship at an equine clinic and she researched various clinics in her area finally settling on one. When she asked her school advisers about this clinic, they told her that clinic doesn’t take interns. Several other people in her program also told her they called to ask about an internship but they were all turned down.
My daughter didn’t let what her advisers or classmates said deter her.
She gathered up her grades and letters of reference, got in her car and drove to the clinic. When she walked in she told them she was there to apply for an internship. They told her that they don’t take interns. My daughter then proceeded to tell them that she was passionate about working with horses, she owned a horse and competed in eventing for many years. She went on to say that for 12 years in order to earn extra riding lessons she got up early on Sunday mornings to muck stalls (shovel manure) and exercise horses. The clinic was impressed by her passion, dedication and willingness to work and learn.
She walked out of the clinic with an internship.
On the last day of her internship she walked out of the clinic with a new job.
As her mother I was proud but not surprised. I taught both of my daughters to go for what they want and not to let anyone’s “No” or discouragement stop them.
I taught them this lesson because of a workshop I took early in my career. In this workshop there were only a couple of women and about 200 men. I don’t remember what the workshop was actually titled but I always remember it as: The Career Advice Men Give To Other Men.
The speaker told the story of how he had a dream to become a fighter pilot but when he applied he was denied because he couldn’t meet the strict qualifications. He was told to give up on his dream. Then he told the audience the words I never forgot “If someone tells you ‘No,’ then you are talking to the wrong person.”
He continued his story about how he preserved for almost 3 years until he found the right person who worked with him and helped him get a waiver to the qualifications. He got his dream job.
This is the lesson women need to learn.
There are a lot of doors that are closed to all of us – both men and women. However, men and women are taught to treat closed doors differently.
As women we are taught we need someone else to invite us and open the door for us. When we don’t get an invitation, no one opens the door or the door is slammed in our face, we give up. We chalk it up to biases, discrimination and not being empowered.
Men however are told to go for what they want. When faced with a closed door, they turn the door knob and walk in. They stay until someone kicks them out. If they are kicked out, then they try again.
In my career I walked through many doors – no knocking, no invitation. I was once kicked out and the door locked behind me. I still didn’t go away. I just sat outside and waited. Eventually someone else came up to the door and went inside with him. I didn’t get kicked out again.
Empowered Women Walk Through Closed Doors
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