Why This Top Political Commentator Wants You To Stop Taking Things Personally

Why This Top Political Commentator Wants You To Stop Taking Things Personally

Zerlina Maxwell is the director of progressive programming for SiriusXM, and has been called one of the top political voices to follow on Twitter, by the New York Times. She also has some excellent life (and career) advice for you.

The former director of progressive media for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Maxwell continues to be an advocate for policy and culture issues spanning race, feminism, domestic violence, sexual assault and victim blaming.

But turning a passion for political engagement into a full-time job isn’t easy, and sure enough, Maxwell has learned a lot in her journey from a field organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign, to blogger, to law student, to SiriusXM director and the co-host of Signal Boost.

What has she learned, exactly? We asked her for a five-minute overview when she spoke at the Girlboss Rally NYC recently.

I love my job! I worked for Hillary Clinton last year and you already how that turned out. But now, I get to wake up everyday in Trump’s America and shape a media message for a progressive and more equitable future at SiriusXM.

Success means doing work that is meaningful and that will leave a lasting impact on the world around me, even after I’m gone.

A girl boss is someone who is a leader, no matter what industry she is in. She’s also someone that is a good team player and works to make her team better in every way.

If you believe that women are people, then you are a feminist. Let’s start treating women like human beings and make the world safer for everyone.

Everything is not about you, so don’t take it personally! Secondly, take a vacation and the time off to see friends and family. No job is more important than the people that matter to you most.

Please stop telling young people to email potential mentors asking them if they can “pick your brain.” This always makes me cringe.

“Work hard and be nice to people” is on my wall at work and at home. I truly believe that treating people with respect, no matter their status, is essential.

World domination and never receiving a bill from Sallie Mae again. Also, gender and racial equity.

If we listened more and talked less, we could make real change. Often, people just want to feel heard; a lot of people have experienced trauma and are in pain. Working from a place of empathy can allow all of us to understand where people are coming from and work from there to find common ground.

I’m also a big proponent of therapy and think that everyone should go. If we all had a sounding board for talking through the ups and downs of life, I think we would all be better off for it.