This past summer, my 15-year-old daughter, Arcadia, spent two weeks at the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute. This is a program sponsored by Eileen Fisher (the clothing designer) for young women, ages 15-18. It offers all sorts of programming and speakers to help high school girls develop vision for their lives and the courage to accomplish their goals. I have never seen Arcadia happier – and to have a happy teenager is not a given! Each day, she would come home from the program “lit up” and excited about what she had learned. When I asked her why this program resonated so deeply with her, she said “I found my people.” She has had good experiences in past camps she attended and activities she was involved with, but this was the first time in her life she felt like she was with people who shared her same values. She described them as “conscious” and “non-judgmental.” How often are we with people that are “our people?”
Watching my teenage daughter go through this very positive experience made me extrapolate to how important it is for all of us to “find our people” in our careers. When I think of the people we have placed who are most satisfied, they are the ones who have found “their people” either in the workplace or through professional associations they have gotten involved with. What I am talking about is not “cliques,” which are often exclusionist and self-aggrandizing, but rather groups that exist because its members have shared values and goals, and truly want to support each other’s professional growth and success. Having others around that share your vision and passion is extremely energizing, and it can push you to develop your skills in a way you simply couldn’t do alone. Have you found your people?