Find a Mentor and Challenge Yourself.
“Don’t run faster than your guardian angel can fly.” ~ Stephen D. Glass
We live In a time of instant gratification. A time that gives us guidelines to success. I had to learn the hard way that this kind of thinking can lead you on a path of disappointment. Just because you went to this school doesn’t mean you will get that job. Just because you have this GPA does not mean you are destined for that profession. One thing I can say for certain is that a mentor is key.
Mentors are the people in our lives who challenge us to be our best selves, but they never make us any promises. They don’t say, “Do this, and that will happen.” They say, “Try this, and grow from what happens,” and give you the heads-up that things may get messy.
Very recently, I lost sight of putting myself first. I was immersed in an excitement that was very new to me. I entered the world of sales and it was the high of my life. Let’s not put this in past tense, it still is. However, I was wandering down a slippery slope.
Sales trumped dinners with friends, sales trumped dance classes, sales trumped lunch breaks, sales trumped sleeping, sales had me wiping out on my computer in the middle of family dinners, sales trumped holidays! Yes, I am very grateful for my competitive and passionate spirit, but there are moments when it can become more of a curse than a blessing.
It’s addicting, and at a certain point, you are not doing it to make you feel good, you are doing it for show. “Impress, impress, impress… I need to impress you.” You may be thinking, “Wow, she is very self-aware to recognize all this.” No, that is not the case. I have a beautiful mentor who brought these self-destructive tendencies to my attention.
You know what’s really impressive? Someone with the ability to sense a breakdown before it actually occurs. Someone who knows you personally and professionally, and extends advice to you when you are crossing an unhealthy boundary. Someone whom you don’t need to impress at all, but who finds ways to bring out your talent naturally.
They tell you to sit down when you need time out of the spotlight, and to stand up when you need to be seen.They energize you with new knowledge and fuel you with constructive feedback. They undoubtedly go to bat for you at the expense of their own reputation, and even on your worst days, they celebrate the success they know you always bring to the table.
I urge you to find a mentor. Network, lunch and learn, ask questions, find that person who is going to be your teacher, your cheerleader, and your friend. The greatest gift that I have received in my short-lived professional career is finding that mentor.
And guess what? I have decided exactly what I want to be when I grow up: her.
Jamie Wolfe collects her energy and passion from New York City’s electric streets. She moved to Manhattan to study drama at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and fell in love with its edge and quirky charm. She attempts to find humor in all situations, and thoroughly enjoys comedy, dance, and a solid spicy tuna roll. She lives in constant awe of her surroundings, and has committed to capturing her emotions in writing so they last forever.