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Why this CEO wants you to include a typo in your work emails

By | Kerri Anne Renzulli |

Go ahead, send that email with “their” spelled “there” or with “than” in the place of “then.”

It may run counter to the career advice we usually hear about religiously checking our work for typos and errors, but making a mistake knowingly is exactly what Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code, wants people to do.

In an interview with MONEY, Saujani says she encourages employees, especially women, to include a typo in a professional email — it can’t be a nothing email to an office friend, either — because it highlights just how inconsequential imperfections can be.

Nothing happens after it’s sent, says Saujani in the interview. You realize you’re not going to be fired, no one is going to come reprimand you for it.

Of course, you don’t want to make this behavior a habit or send a typo-filled email to your company’s best client about their multi-million-dollar project, but including one small typo in more casual professional notes reveals how unfounded some of our career fears can be.

Embracing imperfections, Sunjani says, can help women get over professional insecurities and hang-ups they may harbor and make them more comfortable taking a risk with a project or role, even if it ultimately fails. That’s the main message behind Saujani’s new book “Brave, Not Perfect,” in which she reflects on her failed bid for Congress in 2010 as well as other professional setbacks she encountered to encourage women to embrace excellence instead of perfection.

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