Posted on March 05 2019
STH "So This Happened" - posts submitted anonymously by professional women about experiences they've had on the way to the top, what they learned, and their advice for anyone going through something similar. It's a reminder that we're not alone and we're here to support each other!
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So this happened...
I was a first year Consultant, and after working with my Manager for a little over 6 months, he thought I had the potential to pursue an early promotion for Manager. After he planted the seed in my head, we worked together to identify different opportunities that would help my promotion story and prove that I was ready for the job. He supported me the entire time, encouraging me to "step up" and take on more and more responsibilities. Long story short, I got the early promotion and couldn't have done it without him.
That isn't the main part of the story. My Manager was a great coach and insanely smart. Unfortunately, because of bad staffing luck, he didn't get put on cases or paired with Managers that set him up for success and he got promoted "late" relative to his peers. Despite that, the moment he became a Manager, he didn't let his bad experience stop him from being an awesome mentor. Not only did he support my promotion, but he helped me get it early.
What I learned:
If we let bad experiences make us bitter, we can never be the best version of ourselves.
I sometimes hear people say "I had to learn that on my own" or "No one helped me". Especially because of his own experience, my Manager could have easily had that attitude towards me, but he didn't. Instead, he reflected on what made his experience challenging and decided to flip the script. He did what a good Manager should do - removed biases and looked for ways to motivate, support, and develop his team.
Advice for other women:
Some of us may be the first to pave the way and there will be others following behind. If the road was hard, there might be an opportunity for us to make it a little easier for the next. And if not, at least we can be empathetic.