To commemorate the occasion, the twenty accomplished women sat down with Diane Sawyer of ABC News and offered advice to young careerists. Many awesome thoughts were shared… I was more than inspired.
From that discussion, please enjoy my favorite – and most motivational – mentor moments:
Happiness Is a Key to Success
“Do what you love because if you do a job or if you have a vocation that you truly love, you’ll be successful, but more importantly you’ll be happy.” – Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Last year I had a job I hated. I dreaded going to work, and spent most of the day counting down until I could go home. I then dreaded going to bed because the cycle would start over the next day. This made me grumpy and stressed and took a toll on me personally. I eventually quit because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my happiness.
“Do what you love and keep at it. Persistence is about 95% success.” – Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
“There is nothing you can’t do, but you have to put your mind to it and work very, very hard.” – Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
The first time I looked for a job in college, I found one I coveted and set my mind to getting that job. I hand-delivered a resume and then called every few days to check on my application status. In the end, my persistence paid off and I was hired.
Be Helpful to Others
“Think about someone other than yourself and say, ‘Good Morning, can I be of help?’ Then you’ll make a world that is better, you’ll make a difference and you’ll work with others to make change.” – Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
In my first internship, there were four other interns; I knew I needed to stand out. Every morning I asked my boss how I could help. I quickly discovered that when you offer to help someone, show initiative and gain experience – you learn.
Listen, Listen, Listen
“My advice would be to listen more than you speak. Listen to other people and you’ll be so surprised what you can learn and also how you can find people to work with to solve problems.” – Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Be a sponge. Absorb everything around you. Observe and listen to your superiors and mentors. You’ll better understand what’s expected of you, build a rapport – and recognize how to best interact with bosses and coworkers.
Be a Problem Solver
“My advice is when somebody tells me it’s complicated, it’s really not and break it down and find the way to solve the problem” – Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
When I was vice president of my sorority, 25 women came to me constantly with problems. I quickly learned that instead of looking at the whole problem and getting overwhelmed, I should look for a part, maybe a tiny part, of the problem I could solve first. By the end of my tenure, my advisor said my problem solving skills would be very hard to replace.
Learning Doesn’t Stop When You Graduate
“Knowledge is power. If you really work hard at learning and trying to learn as much as you can about as much as you can that no matter what your dream is you have a really good chance of achieving it.” – Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
“Learn something every day. And don’t be afraid to push yourself to learn.” – Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
We never stop learning; it’s how we evolve into better versions of ourselves. In my first post-grad job, I learned so much that wasn’t taught in the classroom, like how to pitch a story to a reporter and get coverage for an event. In my current job, I’m learning every day how to build a company brand through social media.
Always Do Your Best
“Be courageous, believe in yourself, and no matter what you’re doing, what job it’s, large or small, do your very, very best.” Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
No matter what task you’re assigned, whether it be writing a blog or organizing the cardboard boxes in the warehouse (I’ve done both)… do your best. Doing the grunt work well shows your dedication to the job. It’s as important as doing the bigger tasks well. Every day, I do the mundane tasks to the best of ability, and with a smile.
“Dream big and ignore the naysayers, the cynics and the keepers of the status quo.” – Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
“Don’t stop dreaming” sounds trite, but goals are important in business and in life. Dreams give you a vision to work toward; they give you a sense of accomplishment – and they build self-confidence.
These twenty women got elected to the Senate; they know how to succeed. Write their quotes down where you’ll see them daily. Put them on “post-its” around your desk at work or on your bathroom mirror. Let their wisdom serve as motivation to strive for own success.
Then, with that inspiration in hand, set goals for you.
At the beginning of every year I write down goals, not resolutions. Last year, I wanted to quit my job, start working in social media and pursue a Master’s degree.
I quit that job I didn’t love. I now assist with YouTern’s social media strategy. Yesterday, I started my first grad school class. I feel so good knowing that I accomplished my 2012 goals.
Now, just a month into the New Year, my sites are set on my 2013 goals!
About the Author: Lauren Kirkpatrick is YouTern’s Social Media Outreach Intern. She graduated from San Diego State in 2011, with a Bachelors degree in Public Relations. During college she interned for Integrated Sports Marketing, and has since worked for several San Diego area PR firms while developing her passion for social media.
In her personal life, Lauren is never more than 3 feet from her iPhone or Macbook – she says “they have their own side of the bed” – (and our guess is they probably also have their own iNames!) She’s a sports junkie, TV aficionado and expert baker. Follow Lauren on Twitter!