When “You Go, Girl!” Doesn’t Go Very Far

I stumbled across a

women’s career group

on LinkedIn and noticed

a thread around a woman

saying she hoped to transition

from teaching to a

career in the medical field.

“Follow your dream!”

said one woman.

“Go for it!” said another.

“You found your passion – now go for it!”

What I heard in my head was

“You go, girl!”

The well intended, but not very useful,

battle cry of women supporting women.

A decade or so ago,

I ran into my recently x-ed husband

and his even more recently acquired girlfriend.

I spit out something snarky

and turned on my heels

with two girlfriends in tow.

They high-fived me and

you go girled me all the way home.

Later that night,

I called one of my guy friends

who listened to my story

and bluntly offered this:

“You acted like a dick.

Call him and apologize.

Then apologize to the girlfriend.”

Harsh, but helpful.

I reached out to the young woman

and offered to help rewrite her resume

and LinkedIn profile (no charge) and

talk her through the challenges of

career transition.

Not because I’m so great,

but because I know that sometimes

“You go, girl!”

only goes so far.

 

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