This is the true story of an Ambitious GIRL…
Once upon a time, there was a young lady who was on top of the world – she had just graduated from THE Ohio State University, with HER Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science and was officially back from a once in a lifetime, month-long graduation trip to Asia.
Staying on top of the world was tough to do though, especially for someone that just graduated from college during the bottom of a nasty recession. Not to mention, this particular lady had never held a position in HER career-field (outside of a measly summer internship).
Mission Find Big Girl Job
Once back in the States, Little Miss was ready to embark on that exciting task of landing a big girl job. She looked, and she looked – she applied, and she applied. She eventually resorted to going to a temp agency, to see if they could find a job match for her. [Note to self: during a recession, those with any job experience whatsoever are viewed much more highly of than a young lady who has only ever worked for Dairy Queen, Don Pablos, American Rag Apparel, and OSU.]
Less than a week after HER first meeting with the temp agency, she was placed in a temporary position with BMW Financial Services, and promised to be hired on with the company at her 6 month review, on the contingency that she received stellar remarks on her review. The great big job hunt was officially overrrr…. or was it?
Low and behold, things were going great at the big girl job – graduate girl hit the ground running, taught herself Crystal Reports, joined a process improvement committee at work, automated a number of extremely manual processes that now save the company an estimated $25k per year, and even won several awards from her department. The 6 month mark rolled around, and what she heard from HER manager was not, I repeat, was absofreakinglutely not music to her hears.
Stand Up for Yourself Girlfriend
She got stellar reviews and a stellar rating, but do you want to know what else happened during HER 6 month review?! Her manager said, “I’m sorry, we aren’t able to hire you on right now.” She mentioned to her manager that upon being placed with BMW, the company told her she would be hired on with actual benefits in 6 months. Her manager then came back and said they would discuss it a year from now, at the next review. Graduate girl was not taking no as an answer, and explained to her manager that she would have to look for a job elsewhere if it was going to be a full year from now before she had benefits.
At this point, the conversation really took a spin and got interesting. Her manager had come into the meeting, assuming that she wasn’t going to stand up for herself. Thrown off, he said, “What will it take to keep you? We really would love to keep you here.” At that point, the manager asked HER to come up with a proposal for what it would take for her to stay, not limited to but including, a new job title, new responsibilities, and even a wage increase. He said he would meet again with two of his managers and graduate girl next week, to discuss her position in more detail.
The Big Proposal
Ambitious OSU girl went right to work on HER proposal that evening, highlighting her current responsibilities, competitive pay rates in the job market, and listing potential titles that fit her current role. A lot of research went a long way. She crafted a professional looking proposal for the big meeting that was going to go down next week, and printed out five copies – enough to go around, plus one extra.
Fast forward one week – HER big day is finally here. Ambitious girl walked into the freezing meeting room, and placed proposals on the conference table for each of the three managers. Slowly, but surely, the boys’ club made their way into the meeting room. The most senior manager in the room picked up the proposal, looked up and down the first page, and said to 21 year old ambitious girl, “Did your parents help you with this?!”
PAUSE….. Who does that!? I repeat, who does that?! Sadly, this situation is all too common for your average business woman. What the boys’ club doesn’t know is that digs and sneers can actually last for years. That three second phrase that was hatefully said to ambitious girl one time has stuck with HER for the last 7 years.
UNPAUSE… Clearly there is no reason to tell you anything else about the meeting. However, I will let you know that ambitious girl handled herself professionally, after being told the company couldn’t do anything with her position. There woule be no changing responsibilities, no changing job titles, no raise, and no benefits. Shame on the boys’ club, for even suggesting that there be a meeting in the first place. Ambitious girl held HER head up high and proceeded with finishing out her two weeks, without another job lined up. She knew she would rather quit than continue to be sneered by the good old boys’ club.
Can You Relate?
OK, OK, I am not done here yet. Sneers like the one above, sneers directed at working woman, happen all the time. I mean, they truly happen all the time. In my head, I can visualize with exact recollection certain sneers that have been said to me over the course of my career. What’s truly heartbreaking is, I don’t know if these men that have made such comments to me know that what they actually said was a put-down.
As a woman, can you relate? Can you think of things that have been said to you throughout your life that completely belittle who you are and what you stand for? This isn’t just about women in the workplace. Stay at home moms, I’m talking to you – taking care of the kids, the house, and the cooking is a huge responsibility and a huge undertaking. More often than not, SAHMs are underappreciated and not completely understood by those that can’t relate. Being a mommy is YOUR Ambition though! Entrepreneurs, I’m talking to you. You’ve faced various forms of rejection as you’ve worked your butt off and hustled to get to where you are. Along the way, I know you’ve had to block out negativity and nasty remarks. Entrepreneurship is YOUR ambition.
Honor Her Ambition
This post is for all of the ambitious women out there, regardless of what that ambition may be.
It’s time for us to Honor HER Ambition. Honor HER Ambition means let us honor courageous women who are working their booty off for what they are passionate about. Let us respect women who are not afraid to put themselves out there for the whole world to see and hear. This movement is about everyone – women and men, celebrating women who are making things happen. Honor HER Ambition is people helping women discover and know who they are and where they are going. It is also helping these same women make their way to the top.
Ladies and supporters of ladies, are you behind this movement and supportive of women pursuing their dreams? If so, please stay connected to this website for future true-life stories and words of encouragement. This is the first of many Honor HER Ambition blog posts.
Last but not least, if you are really, really excited about Honor HER Ambition, help spread the word. We would love for you to proudly sport and show off a super cute Honor HER Ambition shirt.
I’m looking forward to writing more posts, in hopes of making a difference. My goal is to inspire other women to hit the ground running in pursuit of their dreams. Until next time, friends!