I started a new job a short time ago. Specifically, after a three year (self imposed) hiatus, I went back to a company I worked with for eight years.
A few weeks ago, someone asked me: “Why are you so familiar?”
Do I look familiar to you or am I acting familiar, I asked. The answer was the latter.
I was a bit thrown off for a number of reasons:
– I was re-hired into a leadership position.
– When I left three years ago, I was in a leadership position.
– The individual that asked me is a female leader who I interacted with sporadically over the course of eight years.
I’m not the type of person to get offended if someone doesn’t remember me. We all have limited brain space and it’s up to each of us to decide what to store and what to let go of.
But this really threw me for a loop – she was abrupt, rude and accusatory. My first instinct was to immediately get on the defensive and defend who I was and what I was about. I did not.
I simply said, If I can’t be me at work, where I spend more time interacting with individuals like you, what’s the point of me coming in. Wouldn’t you rather know upfront what I’m about?
Luckily, this female leader, my counterpart, agreed with me and we had a rather lovely conversation about nothing important.
How many times are we as women told to assimilate into new work environments? At what point is it acceptable for me to showcase my “strong personality”? Would a male hired into a leadership position be asked the same questions?
The answers to those questions are not positive ones.
If we as women cannot support each other, accept each other and be open with new team members personality than what the fuck are we doing?
We are essentially telling “the man” it’s okay to treat us like shit because we treat each other like the competition, we don’t respect one another and most importantly we do not act like ourselves from day one!
Ladies, I don’t care what environment you work in: corporate, retail, fast food – when a new employee starts, whether male, female, animal or alien – allow that person to be themselves! Because my strengths can be your areas of growth and vice versa. Support each other, that’s what Lady Bosses do.
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much – Helen Keller