The “A” Word
Last Tuesday, I did a talk at The Quarter Club, a fun networking event near Waterloo station. It’s not really about “networking” though, it’s more about tipsily chatting to the people around you, not really talking all that much about “work”, more about what makes us fulfilled as creatives.
The description on The Quarter Club’s website reads: for “fiercely ambitious creative women”. Founded by Saskia Roddick and Jo Duncombe it’s a safe place for people to mingle with other like-minded peeps who perhaps are self-employed or having multi-hyphenate careers.
I went to the last event (which I blogged about here) one of my first thoughts was “do I really want to describe myself as fiercely ambitious?” Why did the words “fiercely ambitious” fill me with dread? Then I realised, it’s still feels slightly shameful in some ways to be this “fiercely ambitious woman” who just loves working and making money and work work work. It was my own judgment about myself. Does this paint a negative picture? Does this take away my other traits? Will people think I’m selfish or self-centered? Will people assume I don’t live a bright and colourful life?
I had a word with myself and realised there’s no reason to be afraid of ambition. Own it. I am fiercely ambitious. AND WHAT.
You can be fiercely ambitious and still be a good person.
You can be fiercely ambitious and still have a FUN life.
You can be fiercely ambitious and still invest and maintain beautiful relationships.
You can be fiercely ambitious and still find peace.
You can be fiercely ambitious and FILL IN THE BLANK.
The theme of the evening was “decision”. After umm and aah-ing about WTF to talk about (the irony) I settled on talking about the decision to quit my full-time “dream” job at the beginning of this year. I didn’t want it to sound like an Instagram quote telling anyone and everyone to “quit their job and live their dream!” BUT, I did tell my truth and what worked for me. My ambition will continue to lead me in different unpredictable situations. I’m glad I can own up to it, and be proud of it – and encourage others to be proud of it, too.
Thanks everyone who came, supported and drank Prosecco with me. The other speakers were AWESOME (including brilliant and hilarious Cariad Lloyd, check her out.) Thank you Bloomon for the gorgeous flowers.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic