If you clicked on this blog post, it’s probably because you are a young woman trying to find her path while starting a professional life in the middle of a pandemic.
Well, hello there! It’s very nice to meet you!

I am Rita Prota, 22 years old (almost 23!), I am Italian, but I grew up in France. I now live in The Netherlands and I just (finally) obtained my beloved master’s degree in biotechnology engineering. Passionate by life sciences communication, I aspire to work in this field, and I am starting my professional journey here in The Netherlands.

During my whole life, the main idea that my mom would try to make me understand was “Never give up, always stay determinate and at one point, you will achieve your goal”.

I know, maybe you are thinking “Well, nice to meet you too Rita, but I am seeking experienced professional advice”.

Yes, I might not be a super experienced professional, but I am writing to you because I understand you. I understand in which position you might be, I understand what you might think, what anxious thoughts might invade your mind…What is going to happen next? Am I going to succeed in what I really want to do? What about my student loan? Am I going to be able to be financially independent? Is this pandemic going to continue for long? What to do? Where to go?

We are young professionals trying to build a career, and suddenly, Mister Covid-19 arrived and canceled all our plans, all our ambitions of a promising future. I feel you!

I am writing to you because I would like to tell you to not give up. Dare to reach out to professionals, dare to be determined in what you want, even more, dare to be obstinate!

Us women – especially young women- tend to under-estimate ourselves. We don’t usually dare to put ourselves out there. We usually think we are not good enough.
What I can tell you in my -short but intense- working experience is that you have to take initiatives, that you don’t have to hesitate to reach out to someone, you have to show the world your value! Yes, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH AND EVEN BETTER THAN “GOOD ENOUGH”!

Because, let’s be honest. If reaching out to someone doesn’t work the way you wanted, this person would lose a brilliant professional…but what would you lose? Nothing…thank you, next.

What I would like to tell you is to PERSEVERE. Hard work will always pay back.

This strange Covid-19 period might change everything and make it very difficult for us to predict our future, but let’s set up new working methods ourselves! Try things that you never dared to try before. You would like to be an entrepreneur but always thought that it was too difficult? TRY! You would like to reach out to someone on LinkedIn but don’t feel legitimate enough? TRY! Try your ideas, spread your creativity, build your path and achieve your objectives. It might take some time, but don’t loose hope.

If Covid-19 puts distance between us and our dreamed professional life, let’s destroy this distance by trying things that not even Covid-19 would have thought about!

What I can also advice you, is don’t compare yourself to others. Each individual has a different path, different ambitions, a different rhythm.

Of course, all this doesn’t mean that you can’t have down moments or sometimes be disappointed.
In this case, continue to reach out. Don’t reach out to professionals of course while you have a mental breakdown, this might not turn as good… but reach out to your friends, to your parents and even to Women in Tech if you feel like it! We will be happy to help if needed!
There will always be someone to cheer you up and to remind you to not give up.
Don’t stay alone. Let’s lift each other up!

Our generation is creative, proactive, passionate and caring about our planet. Let’s show everyone that yes, even with a pandemic, we can make things work, we can work hard to achieve our dreams. Let’s help each other to stay positive and to persevere.

How badass will we appear in front of our kids in 15 years while telling the story about how we built a perfectly splendid career during a pandemic? 😉