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Rep. Lori Trahan knows there will always be reasons not to run for office, but focusing on personal contributions can change that

United States Congress
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

This isn’t Lori Trahan’s (D-MA) first job in the federal government. She worked for former Representative Marty Meehan, working her way from his scheduler to his chief of staff. After working in the private sector as an executive for a tech company, she decided to run for office herself. Now that she’s in the House, Trahan serves on the Education and Labor and Armed Services Committees.

What have you learned though your career in public service that you wish you had known from the very beginning?

I would say don’t be afraid to embrace tradeoffs. It is far better to specialize and find what you’re good at and do that thing well than to try to be the best at everything only to find yourself exhausted. For women especially, there will always be a million reasons not to run for office or put your hat in the ring. I would urge any woman looking to run for office or get involved with public service to transition away from that thinking and focus on what you, personally, bring to the conversation. It is a lot. Never discount your worth, and don’t apologize for your talents and being willing to sacrifice in order to share those talents with the world.

This story is part of How We’ll Win in 2019, a year-long exploration of workplace gender equality. Read more stories here

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