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Women, Apologizing ≠ Being Polite

You know, I try not to offer unsolicited advice but, sometimes, especially when it comes to young women, I just can’t help myself. I also don’t advocate the use of punctuation faces but appreciate their use in softening what might otherwise come off as harsh to someone sensitive. The latest in my exchange with someone applying for a volunteer position:

You are obviously a competent young woman with skills and energy to offer. Own that. Starting emails off with “Sorry to bother you” and ending them with “I hope I don’t sound too pushy!” is not necessary and might make employers feel like you lack the confidence to do a job. I can tell you that confidence is so much of what will get your foot in the door and women often mistake apologizing for being polite. You can be polite and willing without apologizing or qualifying. You’re worth someone’s time! Don’t try to convince them otherwise. So, there’s my totally unsolicited advice! Do with it what you will. ; )

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