Guest post by Tori Ganahl
I remember the last 6 months of my senior year of college – the overwhelming anxiety about what’s next in the world, the possible rejection of potential jobs, the doubt of if you’ll make it, and leaving the comfort of the carefully crafted bubble all looming large in my mind. I spent four years of my life changing my mind about how I was going to make my mark in the world. And those four years of exploration and self-discovery went out the door as I moved my tassel and threw my graduation cap into the air. Real world here I come!
I did 45 informational interviews during spring break of my senior year ranging from PR and advertising agencies, large enterprise companies, and family friends who wanted to help guide my way. I left every single meeting feeling discouraged, like I was never going to find the perfect match. At my lowest point, I got a phone call from a Corporate Recruiter about an opportunity in Portland, OR – where I was hoping to move and start my life. Que Sammie: still to this day one of my favorite people who I’ve had the chance of crossing paths with. Her passion, enthusiasm and excitement shone through the phone as she told me about a role that I’d be the perfect fit for. It had to be fate.
Three glasses of wine during a three hour drinks meeting later, I was offered the job and accepted on the spot. Everyone I met was just like me – full of passion, hope, and ready to take the world by storm. Despite the fact that the butterflies and uncertainty were hard to ignore walking in on day 1, I felt like this was the place for me. I fell in love with the people, the company, and the opportunities it offered. I was offered a promotion within five months and capitalized on every opportunity I could to grow personally and professionally.
I was the textbook employee at my company, but as time passed I found myself constantly questioning what I was doing. Was I doing the right thing? Was I really passionate about my work? Would I want to be here 10 years from now? I was good at my job – but that was the issue. I kept convincing myself how amazing I was doing, how much I loved it there, and how wildly successful my future could be; but my motivation and drive was drained, my health was depleted, my relationships were put on the back-burner- and I didn’t even realize it. Despite the fact that I was having far more bad days than good, I continued to talk myself down.
Enter SheFactor. Reading SheFactor and being a part of it’s journey to the market opened my eyes to so many truths. It wasn’t about the company, or the people, or the promise of huge success – it was about discovering my true potential and spending these valuable years in my young adulthood to pave the path for the rest of my life. I didn’t hate my job, I just wasn’t fulfilled. I wasn’t staying true to my Silhouette. I wasn’t in tune with myself the way I used to be.
SheFactor inspired me to find a way to make my not-so perfect job at a wonderful company work. What I needed was to ditch the tunnel vision and focus more on what made my cup feel half full, not half empty. I learned to make time outside of work to ensure I was staying spiritually, mentally, physically and professionally fit. SheFactor helped me learn to set realistically attainable goals. I needed to feel inspired, and inspire others to make the same changes in their lives.
Passion. Fulfillment. Discovery. Aspiration. That’s what SheFactor is about. That’s something I can get behind. Giving women, like myself, the gift of guidance, mentorship and community is so needed and sought after. We have to help each other, build each other up, pave the path for not only our own futures, but the future of our daughters, nieces, friends and colleagues.
Fast forward through my “Journey to She”: I’ve learned so much about myself and pushed myself harder than I knew possible. I’ve found a family in a new city. I’ve met so many amazing, inspiring people. I’ve been given the opportunity to mentor and develop those around me. How would my journey have been different if I had a roadmap to help me realize my full potential sooner? Maybe I wouldn’t have spent an entire year of my life focusing my energy on things that were draining me- convincing myself that I was fine with the negatives outweighing the positives.
Life is too short to not do what you love. Our time is too limited to work ourselves away from what matters the most to us. We need to take care of ourselves and each other.
So, here’s to new beginnings: To young women discovering their worth and potential and to paving a path for us to live powerful, fierce and fulfilled lives.