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Swayzine - Influencer Marketing Insights

I’ve got a bit of a different topic for us today. Have you ever been told that you wouldn’t make it? That your dreams were too big or your goals too ambitious? It seems almost everyone has a story where someone tried to squish their ambitions, especially during those crucial early career moments. But time and again, those skeptics are proven wrong — and those are the moments worth sharing and celebrating.

I recently listened to a podcast episode that got me thinking about the power of proving people wrong. It reminded me of a story from my own life, about the first job I landed after college at a literary PR agency in Brooklyn. It was a quirky place, run by a woman who didn’t leave her house more than she absolutely had to and had some fairly (okay: INCREDIBLY) eccentric rules for her employees.

(I mean: that workplace environment was as weird as it gets. We weren’t allowed to leave the owner’s house for lunch unless she gave permission, which was a rare occurrence. Her housekeeper would prepare our meals, and we were expected to eat everything exactly as our boss preferred. For example, if burgers were on the menu, they had to be rare with a topping of raw onions—just the way she liked them.)

I was fresh out of college, eager and ready to make my mark. The previous employee had warned me against taking the job, but of course, I thought my experience would be different.

Wrong. Wrong with a side of nope and onions, and a big ol’ dessert helping of NUH-UH.

The owner was resistant to change and not very open to suggestions from someone at my level. When I suggested modernizing our mailing process by using a computer to streamline our workflow, she completely lost her temper. She accused me of being uppity, told me I didn’t know my place, and then she took it to a whole new level by saying, “You will never make it in the business world.”

That could have crushed me, but instead, I took it as a challenge. I remember the heat in my face, the shock, and then the resolve. I even dared to look her in the face and say, “F&*^ you,” (reminder that I was only twenty-one – I don’t know that I endorse this sort of response in the workplace) before I took a walk to cool off. I didn’t let her words stop me. Instead, I returned to my desk and kept working as if nothing had happened, all while starting to look for new opportunities — and it didn’t take me long before I landed a new job that was a MUCH better fit.

So, let’s turn the tables on these experiences! I’d love for you to share your own stories of overcoming naysayers or early career challenges. We’ll collect these tales and share them in a future newsletter (happy to do so either with credit or anonymously – just let me know what you’d prefer!). Let’s celebrate how far we’ve all come and inspire those just starting out to keep rising above the negativity.

Can’t wait to read your stories!

Reach out any time to connect, or find me on LinkedIn.