Last night I went out to dinner with three of the smartest women I know - my former colleagues. I don't miss my old job, but boy, do I miss these ladies. Sitting at the table with them reminded me of what a positive impact they had on my personal and professional development.
Laughing and swapping stories with the dynamic trio was not only a great opportunity to reconnect, it also helped me to appreciate me new job - even if I do have frustrating moments.
At my old job I was seen as the direct, tough cookie. For reasons I can't completely comprehend, I am seen as the mother hen at my office. My not-so-fancy corner office that is out of the way from traffic always seems to have a visitor pulling up a chair. And even though the people that invariably end up coming into my office for therapy are very different from those three ladies, it reminds me of our relationships.
Especially the dynamo of a 22-year old that comes in to collect herself a few times a week. She is a hard-worker, a smart cookie, and a real go-getter, very focused on growing professionally. She takes things personally and can be sensitive to perceived slights. While she is way more fabulous than I was at her age, I can relate to crying out of frustration and considering a job change because I didn't feel appreciated or that I could move up fast enough (the reason I left my first job out of school to move on to the dot com world).
And when she came into my office at the end of the day yesterday just to thank me for listening to her, it was really touching. And reminded me that I never said thanks enough to my mentors. So thanks, ladies, for a really nice dinner and a great leg up.