Give and give (from girl to girl)

Circles

Someone gave me her time recognising something (nice? interesting? intriguing?) in me. Maybe she was curious to find out what it was, maybe I just caught her at the right time in her (and my) life, anyway she did give me her time. For free.

It started a long time ago (wasn’t actually that long ago but so much has changed in my life since, that it could be in another life). I was in my seventh year in a job that had started full of enthusiasm (and with the best manager one could ever wish for) but in which I was now at a dead end. Unappreciated for my skills, if not openly ostracised for my obsession with fairness and constant improvement, suffering under a never ending line of new managers who didn’t understand what my job was about, let alone manage me. After seven years, I found myself without a manager and completely isolated. But I was a cumbersome presence, that’s why they decided to give in when I asked to have an external mentor. This is how I met Megan.

Megan is a stunning looking professional, you see her and you know that she is in charge. She was friend with someone on the board of the organisation and I still have no idea why she accepted to be my mentor, but she did. I can say without exaggeration that meeting Megan changed my perspective on work and, eventually, on life, setting a series of events in motion that brought me where I am now. Because Megan embodied those two important characteristics that I had been missing for too long in my life: she was someone whom I could admire professionally and who thought that I was extremely talented in what I did. I did meet other women who had the same characteristics, Eva for example¬† (she deserves a dedicated post) but Megan was the first one. Funny how it is always women, isn’t it? Megan helped me understand why I was stuck in a joyless job and once my position was made redundant, she offered to keep on seeing and mentoring me. Just because she liked me.

Now I find myself in the position to give back. Approached by a young woman to have a chat about my work, I saw something that I liked in her and I offered to be her mentor, to meet her on a regular and structured basis to listen to her, to give my advice, support her in her choices and celebrate her successes. She is pretty amazing in her own right, having already overcome harsh circumstances that would have crashed someone less fierce. She has potential to sell and a wicked, infectious sense of humour. And I’m looking forward to see our relationship grow. And I cannot wait for the next time we meet. From girl to girl.

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