Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
Author: Susannah Conway Unravelling @photobird
This wise decision I made this year was reaching out to a former co-worker and mentor to gain some new perspective on an issue I was having at work. I had recently been switched suddenly from a position within my company that I really loved, working for someone that I really looked up to. I was having trouble coming to terms with the switch, constantly keeping me eyes and ears tuned to everything that was going on in my old group without me. It was starting to affect my confidence in my new position. I decided to reach out to this coworker because she knew the lay of the land at my company and had been in a similar situation when she had worked here a few years back.
It took me a little bit of courage to actually email her to see if she wanted to grab a bite to eat and chat (I'm not the most outgoing person, especially with people I haven't talked to in a long time). Talking with her really made me realize that I had to look at the situation from the company's perspective. Although you always hope that the company you work for has your best interest at heart, sometimes decisions have to be made that are deemed "best for the company". She encouraged me to try and learn as much as I could in this new position, so I can use the experience for the future. She also told me I had to "let go" of all of my old projects that I was hung up on. That was so difficult for me, especially because I had invested so much time into them, but in the end doing so helped me to move on.
I'm planning on contacting another former co-worker in the near future who is an engineer with three girls who has had a really successful career as a design engineer and what seems like a great family life. I'm hoping she can give me some new perspective on how to have a family and move up the coroporate ladder as a women in the engineering industry. Stay tuned for another post on my career/family ponderings soon. It's something that seems to be on my mind ALL the time!
This experience reminded me of the importance of keeping and cultivating a network of supporting mentors to have these types of talks with! I hope to grow more mentoring relationships in 2011.