What would you tell her?

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To: Johanna Gusman <gusmanjl@gmail.com>

From: XXX

Re: Girls on the Map

Hi Johanna,

Happy New Year!

I hope all is well with you. I was wondering if you had some time if you wouldn’t mind reviewing the website, https://sites.google.com/locker.lcps.org/grlmap/home I just put together for Girls on the Map.

It would also be cool if you could fill out the #WWyoutellher form I want to have a running list. Feel free to pass it along to your femails crew, I would love to see what they have to offer. https://sites.google.com/locker.lcps.org/grlmap/wwyoutellher

Best Wishes for a super 2018!

XXX

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_______________________________________________________________________________________

What career advice would you give your 17 year-old self?

Trust yourself. You are going to do far more than you ever thought you would do. You are going to go places you never thought you would go. Meet people you never dreamed you would meet (here’s an inspirational one: Nelson Mandela). There are a lot of people who will doubt your abilities along the way—yourself included—but do not listen to them. Continue to surround yourself with the people that help you ignore the naysayers and support you to support yourself.

This world likes to praise individualism and lifts up singular success stories. But it is all a bunch of rubbish. No one, I repeat no one, is successful on their own accord. It takes a village, even in adulthood. So while you are fiercely independent, never be too proud to ask for help and never too prideful to accept it.

Be open to every single possibility that comes your way. This requires becoming comfortable with rejection—not your favorite thing. You will be the recipient of some pretty incredible opportunities that I won’t spoil for you now, but the only reason you were able to grab them was because for every positive acceptance, you had at least a dozen rejections. But you never let that stop you and that is absolutely crucial.

Do your best to minimize your need for external validation and listen to that internal compass that guides you in the right direction. Your heart and mind will be a whole lot more happy because it means you are putting into this world precisely what you were meant to be giving, not what you think others expect of you. There’s no better form of professional satisfaction than that because it means you are driving your own career, not the other way around.

Finally, in the words of Toni Morrison, ‘If you have some power, than it is your job to empower somebody else.’ You were able to do what you do because somebody else empowered you. Now return that favor. On a daily basis.

Oh, actually, one last thing: Whatever you are most afraid to write, write that. All of your best writing started from there (femails included 😉).

 

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