Thinking back on my career and the paths in life I have chosen for myself, it dawns on me that every step and every mistake has shaped a higher purpose for me. A path leading into something I yet have to discover. All I know is that my vision for girls and young female professionals have been long underway, and I’m so excited to see where this path will take me and you.
As a young woman, I was feeling misplaced in the world of tech and I was struggling to find my grounding. I always felt as if something was wrong with me as if I didn’t fit in or no one ever truly understood me. Back then and in being in Denmark I wasn’t really aware of gender bias and I never thought that my gender would play a role in how I felt in this male dominated industry.
I have always been very intuitive and a woman who feels strongly, but at the same time, I disliked it, It would feel as I would be outside of my own body looking in and wondering who that person was? I remember one place of work where I actually got scared of going into the office at the same time as our CEO would arrive, so I would arrive either later or earlier and always try to find out the day before if he would be there. I hated that job, I hated how it made me feel invisible, misunderstood and above all how it slowly broke my confidence both a skilled professional but also as a woman.
“It felt as if I didn’t fit into the life I found myself living.”
What I have found reflecting back on my career and life is that my path always has had one common “Red thread as we say in Danish” — My work with teen girls and young female professionals. Looking back I always seemed to a be drawing in young women it was as if they would just come to me for support out of the blue. I never really understood why before, but it seems quite clear to me now.
After a turbulent decade of mistakes and failures which really kicked the shit out of my confidence, I decided to kick back.I was desperate to get a job that would fulfil me both as a professional and as a woman. When I found myself struggling with low career self-esteem, brought on by a tough industry and loads of bosses with no emotional intelligence and no compassionate leadership I decided to quit; When I say QUIT I mean that I did a great deal of thinking and soul searching to find out why I wanted to quit, it was only when I couldn’t see a point in what I was doing and why I was doing it that I chose to leave.
I finally threw in the towel and I gave up! It hurt like hell — something, I thought was right for me turned out to be a big fat epic fail. YES, I know it’s not a popular thing to say, however, it’s the truth! I felt as if I was trying to push against a brick wall — nothing moved, nothing was flexible and I was deeply sad about my life and my career.
At that point in time, I didn’t I didn’t realise that this experience this decade of fear and failure, would be a key factor pushing back and driving me onto my path, the only one right for me. A path more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.
“So at the age of 36 when I decided to quit, I was sitting at home feeling depressed and angry.”
My family would always say “I was like a piece of cork”; try to hold it underwater and it will pop back up right away. I hated that saying because when they would say that, it felt as if my feelings and my experiences and my sadness, didn’t matter;” because in a minute she will pop back up” and be happy. They were right and until this day, this turned out to be one of my Superpowers. Bouncing back like a rubber ball, never low for long and always with a surviving mechanism to keep driving towards the goals I set for myself.
Nothing could really hold me down and I would push against the current.
But you know what? I was hurting, I was sad and I was feeling there was no place for me that was the right place, but what were my options? What choices did I have? So out of anger and hurt and a broken confidence, I applied for a job as a substitute teacher. And between you and me, I thought to myself that this job was just an easy way of making a living HA! Because how could I fail? This was not a real job, it was a chance to come up for air and to rebuild myself. Well, it was a very REAL job and it would prove to be both my saving grace but also my biggest lesson in life.
This decision made me reevaluate my career and showed me a path I never thought would be for me. I got the job and I loved it, I found something else I was good at, something that gave me butterflies and made me jump cheerfully out of bed every day, happy to be going to work.
“I had found my purpose and that drove me to a second degree as a full blown teacher and after years of studying and working it also drove me to a full-blown burnout.”
I wanted to do it all, I wanted to help and be there for my students, but not only as their teacher teaching them subjects, helping them cram for tests and exams. I was very focused on building their social consciousness, their empathy for others, and their willingness to grow as a team. I wanted for them to have compassion for others also for those who did not look like them, on the inside or on the outside.
But I was working in a system where test scores and being measured by your grades were more important that a high emotional and social intelligence. I was told to stop striving and working on strengthening my student’s emotional resilience. All along I was working towards creating a better culture for our youth and again I found myself pushing against the current, the system and the society we live in today.
Fast forward a few years I’m not working as a teacher anymore. Today I own and run a coaching business where I help girls and young female professionals find Confidence, Courage and Clarity. I work toward empowering them to be brave enough to go get anything they want in life. I work to make the world, just a little bit better and more compassionate and I work and live to be a positive inspiration to everyone I meet.
If you find yourself needing help to get clear and focused on finding a way to Kick back and getting what you want in your life and career you can schedule a Complimentary Strategy Call with me.
Alternatively you can download your own FREE 3 Month Action Plan workbook + How to Get Unstuck in 3 Small Steps.
Written bySascha Fogel
You can connect with Sascha on LinkedIn. Sascha Fogel runs her Coaching Business Sassy Training & Coaching from Amsterdam where she is now located and has clients across Europe. She is the founder of Sassy Girl Global Mentoring community for Sassy Girls who wants to be courageous and bold enough to go after their goals and dreams.