While reading ‘I am That Girl’ this last week- I got to the chapter about finding mentors. About finding people that have traveled portions of the path I want to go down and can help to guide my way. And I came to the realization- I don’t know of any women that have taken my path. When I got back to work, I chatted with my mentor to see if he new anyone. *crickets chirp in the distance*
When I read the chapter on mentorship- I suspected there were not a ton of women out there that could help guide me. Most of the women in my line of work choose to go in to pure management at some point in time and I have no interest in being a pure manager. It is not where I want to go in my career and I am good with that, but I now realize that there may not be a ton of mentors out there for me to follow. Basically- I’m going to have to write my own book.
In another conversation this week- I talked with someone about how new employees succeed. We both agreed that it is not by waiting for someone to hand you a handbook and to follow it step by step. Frankly-handbooks do not really exist for success-each one of us has to make our own. We have to write our own book that will define how we will judge success, how we will treat people along the way and how our work lives will be.
All of the above is in the framework of a job, of ‘work’- but for me it brought a bigger life lesson to my attention. In our lives we will have wonderful mentors and wonderful people that come in and teach us lessons. At the end of the day though- we are responsible for writing our own book. It is not on our mentors and friends to make sure that we succeed.
We are responsible for building our own path. Looking at someone else’s path and comparing ourselves to their path may even be a bit foolish. They are in a different place and while it may look good for us, our own lives are meant to be unique. Our own lives will have different paths, even if we reach similar goals- those will probably be done in vastly different ways. We can learn from our mentors-but they won’t have specific steps that will guarantee that we get the life we think we should have. No one has those steps, except me.
Today- I would like to encourage you to take time to write your own story. Fearlessly. Without doubts. Because your path is awesome and you should not be afraid of it.