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Meet Hannah!

Girls on the Job

Hannah SeligsonHow do you deal with a mean boss? Salary negotiations? Promotions? Recognition for your work? Getting fired? The beginning of your career can be both exciting and scary.

After she got fired from her very first job, Hannah Seligson realized there wasn’t enough advice out there for young women just starting their careers—so she wrote a book about it! In New Girl on the Job Hannah shares insight from more than 100 women trying to navigate the beginning of their career paths, showcases advice from women at the top of their fields, and offers great career tips for girls and women.

Try this special Girls Inc. Online Myth or Fact? to reveal Hannah’s advice for YOU. Whether you’re figuring out how to deal with a teacher, coach, or boss, you’ll find some key tips. Just read the statement, click on your answer, and see Hannah’s response.

Then, check out a short Q&A with Hannah on how she copes with pressures to be perfect and finds time for fun.

For many recent college graduates, it’s tempting to focus more on landing that first job rather than thinking about a long-term career path strategy.
You should try to be as “perfect” as you can as you plan out your career path. Avoid making mistakes because they can do serious damage to your goals.
In addition to networking and building relationships with people who have lots of power (like a supervisor or teacher), you should form strong bonds with people at your level, whether they are coworkers, fellow students, teammates, or friends.
It’s a good thing to be a “work martyr,” a term that appears in Hannah’s book that defines someone who works longer and harder than necessary.

Hannah Seligson

Q&A With Hannah

Now that you've gotten some great career advice in the special career advice Myth or Fact?, read more about Hannah's inspiration and how she squeezes in time for fun.

You recently wrote your first book, New Girl on the Job: Advice from the Trenches. Describe what the book is about and what inspired you to write it.

Well, after nine months I got fired [from my first job out of college]. I was commiserating with my young female friends and we were all experiencing the same thing, whether it was how to deal with a bad boss, what to do when you make a mistake, why we were getting paid so little …just the ins and outs of the workplace.

There was no career guide for young women that was based on the actual experience of young women. So after I got fired, I started writing a career guide, which turned into New Girl on the Job. It’s based on over 100 interviews with young women and about two dozen interviews with women who’ve made it to the top of their field.

As well as being a book author, you’re also a journalist. If you were to travel back in time to your high school graduation, would you have imagined having a career as a writer? How has your career path changed?

My career path has definitely changed. I always knew there were certain things that I really liked to do: I loved interviewing people, but I never wrote for a school newspaper. When I set out to write this book I didn’t think I would be a journalist, and that’s become a facet of my career that I’m really trying to develop.

I would like to tell girls that a career is a very circuitous path [a.k.a. a bit roundabout and indirect], so I think people who are flexible, can adapt, and don’t have rigid ideas about what is and what isn’t supposed to be are going to be successful.

Girls Inc. research shows that girls are facing lots of expectations to be perfect from many different people in their lives. What’s your advice to girls who are dealing with these pressures to be perfect?

Here’s the big secret about perfection: People who try to be perfect are boring. They are! People’s struggles, like getting fired from my job leading me to writing a book, are what are interesting. Think about it: you wouldn’t have great artists, or authors, or musicians if they were all perfect—everyone writes about their challenges.

The pressure is always going to be there—I feel it now and I’m [an adult]. You have to create your own standards [of success] or else you’re always going to be living a life that you think other people think you should be living.

You also write about balancing work and fun—how do you do it? What do you like to do when it’s time to relax?

I do a lot of yoga, go out to eat with my friends, read, and watch HBO On Demand. I try to take breaks; I prioritize taking care of myself.

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