FIRST THOUGHT: Competence and Confidence
“Describe yourself in five words,” an interviewer says to you. For the longest time, I thought I needed to be able to answer this question. It turns out trying to put yourself into a perfect little box comprised of only a handful of descriptive words isn’t just impossible; it’ll give you a serious identity problem, too. It’s basically like asking, “Who are you?” to which your psyche proceeds to flip the heck out. I’m many people! Yesterday, I was killin’ it as a best friend. Today, I’m failing as a driver (sorry for cutting you off), and tomorrow is still anyone’s guess. In the land of bios that need to be only 100 characters, SEO-heavy, professional and memorable, it feels like everyone else knows who they are and what they’re doing. Well, I’m here to tell you that no one knows for sure.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 6.5
Perfection is the enemy of greatness, or so they say. But, dangit, as if that isn’t hard to remember. Doubt is what stops us from applying to jobs, asking that person out or going forward with a new idea—and, believe it or not, one gender doubts itself more than the other. In 2003, a Cornell psychologist found that on a scale of 1 to 10, women rated their scientific ability at an average of 6.5. Men, on the other hand, rated themselves a 7.6. (“Shocking,” said no woman who has ever met a man.) This discrepancy means that women are harder on themselves, which very easily erases their self-confidence.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sally Hubbard, Podcast Host
Today’s Woman to Watch, Sally Hubbard, doesn’t have a confidence problem, and she wants to help you gain more confidence, too. Sally is the host of a podcast called “Women Killing It,” where she talks about topics for women, like feminism and how switching careers shouldn’t be viewed as a weakness. With a law degree under her belt, Sally’s dabbled in a number of professions herself: She’s been informing policymakers and investors on how law can affect the market, is a senior editor at The Capitol Forum, and was New York’s assistant attorney general.
Naturally, we’re fans of Sally’s work, and you should be, too. Sally interviews women who are, well, killing it in their careers and personal lives (much like On The Dot!) From serial entrepreneurs to visual artists, Sally provides a platform for women to share their ups and downs, reminding us that there are plenty of downs in our quest to take on the world.
Sally won’t shy away from subjects that are often simply overlooked. For instance, back in 2017, she wrote about how her husband took over many household duties once he had a more flexible career. It made her downright giddy to come home to folded laundry. She admits this was a victory because though she was killing it at work, motherhood eventually caused her to scale back, and it took her husband a little longer to do the same. Meanwhile, a decade had rolled by where Sally wore nearly all the hats, and she wasn’t too proud to admit that it didn’t come easy—reminding us she’s human, just like us.
An expert at killing it in any situation, Sally offers seven steps to challenge your career stagnancy and bring it to the next level. One of the tips she gives is to put yourself out there; being fearless, confident and bold isn’t always taught to us lady folk. All those qualities are the opposite of demure, quiet and gentle, which is what we’ve been conditioned to think is the “right” way to be over the centuries. Though stepping out and talking about yourself takes some getting used to, but Sally reminds us we’ve all got to have the courage to start.
Follow Sally on Twitter at @Sally_Hubbard.
QUITE THE QUOTE
A queen of killing it, Shonda Rhimes, said:
"You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them."