Career Advice

Journalist: Do women feel that they have to be perfect from day one?

Hilary Rodham Clinton: Yes! And that’s a huge impediment that we impose upon ourselves. And I’ve seen it in so many talented young women who hold back because they’re not sure that what they say will be smart enough. Or maybe they’ve said something in a prior meeting, and people acted like they hadn’t said it, and that was crushing. Then we have all had the experience where 20 minutes later, a man says the same thing and everybody responds positively…. So don’t take it personally. Take it seriously so that you understand it, and then try to devise techniques to overcome it. And I think this…”perfectionist gene” that too many young women have holds them back, and instead they should be really aiming for “good enough.” You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that. They’re just trying to figure out what’s the opening and how they can seize it. They’re not thinking about, Oh my gosh, I’m not perfect, my hair’s not perfect today, I wore the wrong shoes. No.