⚡ Careers advice from six trailblazers ⚡

From Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Madeleine Albright, Indira Gandhi to Eva Perón, Anne Warburton to Malala Yousafzai, there are women all around the globe who are making groundbreaking, and glass shattering, moves. Heads of states, ambassadors, political leaders, and advocates for women’s rights -- more and more women finally have the means to achieve what they were held back from doing not so long ago. 

As part of our Women Trailblazers series, this month at WiFP we want to draw attention to modern-day women on the front lines striving to break barriers. The ones negotiating peace deals, reporting on world crises, drafting human rights legislation, or leading their governments, often unseen or unappreciated. And we see you as, or becoming, these same women. 

Through six featured interviews, we want you to ask yourself the big questions about how to get to where you want to be and seek the answers in the experiences of similar amazing, trailblazing women. Questions like: 

How can I get started and how can I keep going? “Just dream big... I took on a bigger dream, but then I achieved it and then I took on a bigger dream and then I achieved it. It was as if I realized there was something bigger waiting for me. Keep pushing your dreams, because the bigger your dreams, the bigger your chances of achieving them.” (Diana Nassar, TechWomen Fellow Jordan) 

How can I prepare for the challenges I’ll face? “Be resilient. People will slam the door on you when you want an interview, or you may face a layoff. And finally, just get out there!”(Lisa Yurika Thomas, Senior Producer at AJ+) 

How do I overcome prejudice or doubt, in myself or others? “Fear comes from ignorance. When you read a book or talk to somebody...you might not agree on things, but you will realize you have the same needs and wants.” (Holly Dagres, Founder of The Iranist) 

When I feel lost, what do I believe? “Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you that you can't do what you want to do. It might take a while to get where you want to be. We're not all lucky enough to have the straight route from school to ending up in the line of business that we want to end up in. I think if you really want it, it's actually possible.” (Nani Jansen Reventlow, Human Rights Lawyer) 

What if I what I envision doesn’t yet exist? “If foreign policy is going to be relevant and progressive and significant, then it needs new voices and fresh ideas. Easier said than done, of course. But what ultimately drives this project…[is] I'm simply tired of women being subjugated and not taken seriously in politics.” (Marissa Conway, founder of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy) 

How do I know I’m doing the right thing? “Communication is key...I’ve been able to do some of my best work by being able to communicate with other cultures...A lot of communication is just keeping quiet and not saying anything when engaging the people that we serve. When they say “This is what we need,” we have to listen.” (Morgan McClain-McKinney, USAID Foreign Service Officer) 

Want to hear more from those inspiring women? Tune in to our brand new podcast, launching  31 July on SoundCloudiTunes, and Stitcher. Every month, hosts Annika Erickson-Pearson and Ashley Pratt will dive into a career challenge, drawing from the wisdom women working in foreign policy have shared with us over the past four years to help you.