top of page

What would KBJ Do? “You don’t have to be perfect in your career…” – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

We were abuzz last week with our eyes glued to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings. So many emotional moments.

We applauded the grace with which she deflected attacks regarding her worthiness to be the first black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.

You too?

What turned it around was her agency. We saw her rise and defend herself, time and again, in the most affirming way.

Did you catch this line? We couldn't believe our ears.

“You don’t have to be perfect in your career trajectory to do what you want to do.” -- Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

We watched a video clip of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson making this statement at least ten times between the two of us!

What does that mean to you now?

Think about all the ways you’re letting perfection keep you from advocating for yourself and getting what you want out of your career. In a recent survey conducted by Luminary and Indeed, 40% of women say that they don’t advocate for themselves enough or AT ALL!

That’s nearly half of women who are leaving it up to others to decide their career fate.

Why? Here’s what we hear in our signature group training program, the Reinvention Collective.

  • They feel too shy.

  • It’s more comfortable to advocate for a friend or colleague.

  • They’ll be labeled “aggressive”

  • Or even worse – braggy!

So they’ll stop themselves from taking a risk before they even get started.

We work with so many women who ‘ve had success in their careers. Yet they still have a fear of standing out and standing up for themselves. This keeps them playing small – and keeping their gifts and talents from the world.

Career perfectionism can keep you from making a change that’s meaningful because it’s more comfortable to stay in the role you know.

But what if you bet on your future. What if you could make a powerful impact because of all the amazing things you’ve done and all the skills you’ve developed that led you here.

If you could let go of perfectionism and replace it with honoring progress, what would you do right now?

  • Ask for a raise?

  • Ask for a promotion?

  • Ask for more flexibility?

  • Speak up more at meetings?

  • Take a class to learn something new or upskill?

  • Ask someone to be your mentor?

Think about what you would say to a friend or colleague if they came to ask you whether you should pursue these opportunities.

Would you tell them not to make a move unless you have everything mapped out perfectly?

Here’s what we say to women who want to advance/reinvent their careers:

  • You don’t need to tick off all the boxes.

  • You don’t need to have your LinkedIn profile 100% done before you ask someone for coffee.

  • You don’t need to apologize for being a mother AND wanting meaningful work.

  • You don’t have to have your website finished before you try to get clients.

  • You don’t have to know everything about a topic before you write a blog post for it.

How will you move your career forward?

I don’t have to (know, be, do) _______ before I (do, try, ask) _______.

Are you ready to make a change but not sure where to start? Take our Reinvention Readiness QUIZ and learn how to be ready to have more in your work and life!


bottom of page