31 Mar 2022

Letter to My Teenage Self: Kristy


We’ve asked women in STEM to write a letter to their teenage self to see what advice they would give. Today’s letter comes from Kristy Merson, Founder of The Company Club.

Hey there Kristy

It’s your future self here! Seven exciting, challenging and fulfilling careers later! So, I know right now you want to be a theoretical physicist… and an actor… and a forensic psychologist… and a makeup artist… And I’m here to tell you you can be!

You can choose to be all of those things and you can add more too. You can also change your mind and cross some off the list. You have the ability to choose what you want each and every day of your life and that is a gift, cherish it.

you can do you, boo gif | Stemettes Zine

Now you know you have all the choices in the world, here’s a bit of what I’ve learnt while making them:

Breadth of experience and knowledge is extremely valuable.

Don’t feel ashamed (or allow others to shame you) for not wanting to pursue mastery in one subject. What they’re not telling you is that there is magic at the intersections of seemingly unrelated fields.

When you follow your skills and interests into roles that bring you joy, you’ll find that your learnings, no matter how divergent, give you a novel perspective that can unlock solutions nobody else can see.

Could you have guessed that your job as a Concierge would give you unique insight into Digital Customer Experience Design? Well, it does!

Learn to articulate the value of this diverse experience and you’ll bring insight and innovation with you everywhere you go.

when they figure out your worth gif | Stemettes Zine

It’s not going to be easy. You won’t have all the answers, ever. And you’re certain to be the least knowledgeable in the room for a while as you educate yourself. That’s ok. Here’s how you’ll accelerate your learnings:

Listen to what feedback, failure and rejection are telling you. I mean, REALLY LISTEN.

It’s hard to hear and tempting to just nod and run away, but if you pay attention, you’ll learn something every time. Ask questions, even when it’s uncomfortable. And after allowing yourself the time you need to recover, switch into thinking mode.

Every instance will tell you something about yourself, the person delivering the message, and, the society we live in. Unbundling the feedback will help you adapt to, or change, your environment. It will increase your resilience and help you to leapfrog your previously unaware self.

I know. When you’re afraid you’re not good enough, you shy away from trying. You think it’ll hurt less that way if you fail. But it’s actually the opposite. Those times you didn’t try will stick with you and you’ll wish you’d given yourself a chance. So please:

Always give it your best shot.

Whether it’s a job you think you’re unqualified for or a new technology you want to learn, don’t turn away. Do the work to the best of your abilities and you’ll never regret it, whether you succeed that time or not.

best shot gif - girl playing tennis | Stemettes Zine

You’ll learn that when you aim high, you always manage. You can trust yourself and your ability to work hard. So wherever it is you want to go today, leap!

This letter was written by Kristy Merson, Founder of The Company Club >>

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