Preoccupations – Girl Power at School, but Not at the Office

This article should be required reading for all aspiring writers and professionals — not just women.

I have spent too much time being rattled by terse e-mail from
editors, agents who have told me that I’d never get a book deal, and
bosses who have berated me as not being “detail-oriented.” I think that
in order to break through any kind of glass ceiling, or simply to get
through the day, you have to become impervious to the daily gruffness
that’s a part of any job.

I used to think that perfection was
the pathway to success. Not so, according to women I have interviewed
who have reached the apex of their professions. Rather, it can lead to
paralysis. Women, I have found, can let perfectionism stop them from
speaking up or taking risks. For men, especially if they are
thick-skinned, the thought of someone telling them “no” tends not to be
viewed as earth-shattering.

One tactic I’ve found useful in
getting over the perfectionist tendency is a shock therapy called
soliciting feedback. Not only does it demystify what your boss thinks
about you, but it also gives you the data to become a more valuable
employee.

The other dose of shock therapy I’ve undergone is
reprogramming my brain to think that, yes, girls do brag. I’ve
indoctrinated myself with the idea that my job is a two-part process.
One part is actually doing the work and the second part is talking
about it, preferably in bottom-line terms. —Hannah Seligson