“I really want to work for …..,” earnestly stated my friend Beth. She and I had worked together for many years. She wanted to parachute from technology into the sciences. The company she targeted was impressive although by no means alone in its field. Beth knew she could get an interview. But a job? She reasoned to herself that it was this company or nothing. Ever been there?
Beth wanted my opinion. “You know transition, what should I do?” she asked. Had this been prior to my transition I probably would have hunkered down to help her in her quest.
Instead I simply asked a question, ‘How do you know that science is the thing?’
In response she mentioned – almost in passing – that there was another firm that offered a training program of sorts to new employees. She didn’t want anything to do with them. They weren’t of the caliber of her target employer.
I shared with her my non-linear viewpoint on transition that’s taken me from a corporate administrative wonk and techie to a person fully dedicated to women’s transition. “I’ve found the best approach is to anchor on a possible idea or vision – like science in your case – and then create a series of experiments to validate it.”
Ideas morph and change. We do as well. What if your dream isn’t as you’ve imagined? Test. Learn. Retest.
She was intrigued. By that logic she would more carefully consider the alternate company. It could be her petri dish. Not her destination but a stepping stone designed to further her understanding. What is the old adage…seek not to be understood but to understand…
Beth’s simple question of me helped her reframe her approach. The real test? Could she earn a living as she transitioned? Even so would it speak to her soul?
Last Fall I had lunch with a woman whom I struggle to characterize for you. She’s a friend, an advisor, a former Board member of a company I ran. She’s saucy and always to the point. I love her.
I asked her to lunch to get her opinion on a critical project that I’d been working on. Honestly I was stalled. Crestfallen was more like it. I was working on a book proposal. I’d hit several road blocks. The wall in front of me seemed insurmountable. Maybe it was time to stop….
She did her homework. She asked thoughtful questions. She raised issues I hadn’t thought of. I left with wind in my sails and fresh perspectives to consider.
Sometimes that is all it takes. A question. Are you willing to listen to what a new perspective might mean for you?
Novofemina turned three this week. I thought by this point I’d have transition all figured out. The reality is far from it. Don’t get me wrong…I understand transition far more completely today than when I began. I’ve tested and retested. I’ve taken long sabbaticals through the quagmire of emotions that accompany transition. I’ve lived its euphoria and its humility.
This week if you have a minute to celebrate Novofemina’s b-day ask a question of colleague or friend. Something tells me that the perspective granted won’t just accrue to the recipient.
Thank you for your continued support of my transition exploration. If you’d like to read my prior anniversary posts…click on the below:
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