Wanting Success as a Woman

I think success has different meanings for different people. For some, it’s having lots of money and a fruitful career. For some, it’s happiness and marriage and family life. For me, it’s both.

I feel like still, in 2018, wanting a successful career as a young woman is seen as not the done thing. I think people still associate high flying careers with men. Men are still seen as the breadwinners. I’m not saying that they can’t be – the men in my life like my boyfriend and my dad work bloody hard and I wouldn’t dispute that for a second – I’m just saying, women can be breadwinners as much as men can.

I’ve often wondered if age has a lot to do with this, too. There’s been many a time throughout the duration of my career so far that I’ve felt belittled or dismissed for being young. It seems that often, people feel that ‘a young woman like [me]’ shouldn’t be in a full time job. I should be travelling. I should be ‘living life’. I should be ‘doing stupid things and getting drunk all the time’. Some people do do that and they love it. Some people are well-travelled and cultured and benefit hugely from that. Some people my age have far better social lives than I do. But that’s OK: it’s not what I want to do.Β I want to work.

Women are ‘supposed to be’ nurturing, caring and family orientated by nature. I like to think that I am all of those things. Why can’t I have a successful career, too? At some point I want a child. I want to get married and I want family life. But with all that, I want to be fierce. Determined, ambitious and fierce. I want to earn, to be successful, to dress well, to look well, to be well. To continue with ambition, determination, drive and a constant strive for better and let me tell you this: being a woman will never stop me. If anything, it gives me even more drive. Girls need positive, ambitious female role models and that’s what I will be for any future daughter – or son – that I may be lucky enough to have.

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4 Comments

  1. April 12, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Yes girl! Just be yourself and disregard the haters. Ain’t no shame in working full-time at your age. If anything, it’s really impressive!

  2. April 12, 2017 / 11:45 am

    I bloody agree with this entry & i absolutely love your fierceness and your sensitivity, linked together by wisdom & kindness. I totally agree with every word here, I believe in your capacities to push through patriarcally skewed value systems that fear strong and powerful women, or calls them names… a bit like the virgin or the whore complex.

    Another issue is age, indeed, if you’re young, you’re expect to be less mature than you actually are and the, when you grow a bit, you’re felt as a threat and many women are totally erased by age 40…
    Things are changing slowly but it needs to go faster! We need equality between the genders and not to have stereotypes, nor societal associations of character traits to be male or female, since our brains all have both poles in varying degrees and it makes us more shades of each.

    Some men are more nurturing than some women, whilst some women are physically much strong than men or more career oriented than family… and so on. The list is endless just like gender identities and the vastness of humans.

    I really love this entry, just like I’d imagined right when you announced its topic. Well written, to the point and inspirational!

  3. April 12, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    This is awesome. I especially feel you on the ‘too young’ front. I went into industry at 21 and absolutely no-one took me seriously. Still coming up against that a few years on!

    The definition of success to me is changing. I don’t feel like I’ll have the same advantages society afforded my parents. For me, it’s about making the most of the money I have and putting it into more thoughtful endeavours – travel, doing up my home, etc. More about the memories than anything else πŸ™‚

  4. September 29, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    I completely get what you’re saying here, I found that it’s okay to be ambitious but only in a certain way. People looked at me weirdly when I said I didn’t want to go to uni because I wanted to start working because to them I seemed to be saying that I was putting a career over having a good time. It’s bizarre what we’re expected to do. The age issue is definitely a big deal, like you have to reach a certain age and then you can start achieving things.

    This is such an interesting thing to talk about, that age and gender when you’re a woman play such a pivotal role in how people see you.

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