4 Inspirational Professional Stories You Should Know
Indeed, everyone needs someone to whom they can look to draw inspiration. Some might even argue that the higher you aim, the grander your hero or heroine should be. We’re fortunate in the United States to have many people who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to get where they wanted to go in life.
No matter what your goals in life happen to be, you’ll have to overcome obstacles if you want to maximize your potential. As the old saying goes, nothing worthwhile comes easily, and that’s why it’s important to have inspirational stories of people who’ve overcome their own trials. That’s why we put together a list of inspirational stories that are sure to inspire you to keep pushing in the face of your own obstacles.
1. Sandra Day O’Connor
Does the name Sandra Day O’Connor ring any bells for you? It certainly should because before there was the notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), a woman who gained rockstar status as a supreme court justice, there was SDC.
Sandra Day O’Connor was born in El Paso, Tx, in 1930 to a rancher father and homemaker mother. Her father’s ranch was so far from the nearest school that O’Connor lived with her maternal grandmother in Arizona to attend school while spending holidays and summers on the ranch.
After graduating from high school, O’Connor went to Stanford University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, which is how to get into Stanford Law School on an academic scholarship if you’re wondering. Even though young Sandra finished law school in the top 10% of her class, she found it hard to work as an attorney because of her gender. You know you’ve got a battle on your hands when finishing near the top of your law school class at Stanford Law School isn’t enough to immediately land you a position.
However, Sandra Day O’Connor wouldn’t let the legal field being a boy’s club stop her. She offered to work without a salary or office, which was good enough to get her a job as a deputy attorney. Even though her career got off to a rough start, she would continue to progress in her professional life until she eventually became a state senator in Arizona, and from there, she became the first woman to be the senate majority leader in any state.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan made her the first woman to become an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme court, the highest court in the land, on which she served for 25 years. Three years after retiring from the Supreme Court, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the next person on our list, former U.S. president, Barack Obama.
2. Barack Obama
Barack Obama is arguably the most influential person living today and one of the most beloved U.S. presidents in modern history. As you know, he made history in 2008 by becoming the first African American to be elected as the president of the United States, an office widely regarded as the most powerful in the world. However, he was a community activist and organizer in Chicago before becoming the man we all know him as today.
Obama has bragging rights from every election he’s ever been in as one who’s won each of his races in his first attempt. He represented Chicago in the Illinois State Senate. He represented the state of Illinois in the U.S. Senate as he climbed the political ladder at his own pace, which happened to be a rather quick one.
After a few years of experience in national politics, the inexperienced senator from Illinois launched his presidential bid, which he won in 2008. As president, Barack Obama instituted many reforms, and his senate career and presidency will undoubtedly serve as course materials in political science classes across the country for decades to come.
3. Malliha Wilson
Malliha Wilson, a founding partner at Nava Wilson LLP, is one of the most recognizable Canadian law scenes. She attended Law School at Osgoode Law School at York University before going on to serve as counsel for the Native Affairs Secretariat of the Ontario Government. Later she would become the most recognizable minority to serve on the Ontario Supreme Court.
As senior counsel at Nava Wilson LLP, Malliha focuses more on labor law and human rights issues. She is a prime example of how to use your professional gifts to improve the welfare of others.
4. Carly Fiorina
Carly Fiorina may have become a household name in 2015 as a presidential candidate, but she made her bones in the business world rather than in the political arena. As the CEO and chief project manager of HP, Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company.
Fiorina may not have won her presidential bid. Still, her accomplishments at the helm of one of the largest tech companies in the world certainly qualify her to teach a PMP training online masterclass. Future CEOs and project managers can learn a lot from Carly’s methodology of leadership, which blends compassion and toughness. Whether you’re a project management professional (PMP) or an executive, studying the career of Carly Fiorina is a great way to learn how to lead a large company or a large project.
Whether you want to go to one of the top law schools in the country like Yale or Stanford, become a project manager, or helm a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley, the key is to get the right education and be resilient in the face of tribulations. A couple of things that all the people on this list have in common is that they’re consummate learners, and they’re tougher than the barriers they had to overcome.