Have you ever noticed just how wild life can be? How you can be just trucking along in your every day routines and out of nowhere life will just toss you a new ‘event’ card?
Well, I often find myself in these random little situations, and then have to think back to how I ended up here.
For example, three weeks ago I had a meeting with my mentor. She’s been helping me make professional goals and keep them, connecting me with people that can help me achieve them, and just providing me with some very much needed support.
She’s truly been a Godsend.
But to go back just a little, I’ll explain the long process of how I actually came to meet my mentor.
Last year, I just happened to see an ad for a program in writing from our local career office that I sent an inquiry on.
I guess my email wasn’t very specific because they sent me information about a youth research council program instead. I didn’t think anything of it, and sent another email clearing it up and got the information I’d wanted.
However, the next day, they emailed me again imploring me to apply for the youth council program. I wasn’t interested, not really knowing what it was and almost no longer meeting the age requirement to still be considered a "youth."
Two days after that, I got a personal message from a different person at the office pitching how great of an opportunity the youth council was and asking me to at least fill out their application.
So, I conceded, and filled out an application.
Surprisingly, I got a request for an interview shortly after. I didn’t even really know what the council was for, but I agreed to meet with them the following week. My interview went well, and the host was so great; but at the end when she asked if I had any questions about the council, I had to find a creative way to ask what the whole project even was.
Despite my cluelessness, I did in fact get offered a spot on the council.
And true to my employment centre’s recommendation, it was a great opportunity. I got to learn how to efficiently work as a part of a remote team with eight other youth to conduct multiple research efforts. I even had the opportunity to run a focus group at one point.
The council also opened doors to many outside opportunities in networking, diversity training, and career skill building. One of these opportunities was an application to another youth council at a different company, starting shortly after our term was wrapping up.
I begrudgingly applied, knowing how badly I needed the extra income, and enjoying getting to use my perspective as a person with a disability for the sake of good.
So, I was excited to be selected for an interview to this new council.
However, it turned out to be a group interview. Meaning me, along with 12 other people were being interviewed over Zoom as a group. There was also a group activity to assess problem solving and quick thinking. Just in doing that assignment I could already tell that there was a couple of people in the interview I didn’t want to work with.
It was chaos, and frankly I was relieved I didn’t get the job.
They did send me a link to apply to their mentorship program in their rejection email though. They wrote that they needed new applicants and really wanted to work with me.
I don’t even remember filling it out. I imagine it was during my late fall or early winter professional breakdown.
Either way, I didn’t hear back from them and didn’t think I would. So, it left my mind completely.
It wasn’t until January of this year, four months after the rejection/mentorship application came that I finally heard back.
A random email telling me that I had a match, and would be meeting her soon.
Since then, I’ve been building a great working relationship with this new mentor. And she came at such a pivotal time in my career; I desperately needed the support.
All this because of an accidental email over a year ago, and my sometimes-overwhelming nature of taking any opportunity that is put in front of me.
Life’s funny like that.
It can take you anywhere if you just take whatever card you’re dealt and run with it.