An hour ago, I got off a call that could advance my career in ways I never even dreamed of.
Five minutes ago, I received an automated email saying that the opportunity I was pursuing was moving in another direction.
Despite those facts, I’m OK! Which - I’ll acknowledge - is weird because I know myself and I know how I’ve reacted to dreams slipping through my fingertips in the past. For the record, previous responses involved tears, a sense of hopelessness, and the mourning of a life I’d envisioned - reactions that feel distant from the level-headed, optimistic response that I’m experiencing now.
So what changed? I’m equally as passionate about my lofty dreams as I’ve always been.
As I reflect, it’s clear that the change happened within my confidence in my future. I no longer see career opportunities as doors that either keep slamming in my face or miraculously opening. Instead, I’ve shifted my perspective to take in the fullness of the situation.
I look backwards at my experiences. I see how proud of myself I was when I landed my dream job right out of college. I see my growth over the 3.5 years that I’ve been in the working world. I see those, “Wait, you want ME to do that?” moments where I was pushed beyond anything I’d ever done before, yet succeeded. It all pushes me forward, saying, “You’ve got this.”
I look around me and see my network. I see the times that people saw the confident, professional Micayla that I couldn’t always see. I see the people who agreed to do informational interviews and refer me for jobs. I see the necks stretched out as they introduced me to their network, hoping that would get me where I want to go. They all push me forward, saying, “We believe in you.”
As I look ahead at my future, those perspectives remind me that my perfect opportunities are still ahead, waiting for the right timing. They remind me that I have a myriad of exciting opportunities on the table, waiting for me to choose. My future draws me forward, saying, “I’m not going anywhere.”
My experience and network gave me that. Do you see how powerful those things are?
That’s why I believe in mentorship. I’m passionate about giving that confidence to others. These factors are the foundations of why we even get to celebrate something like Women’s History Month. Women’s History exists, yes, because women pushed for access to places that they previously weren’t allowed to be in. But more importantly for today’s world, it exists because they brought others up with them, expanding the number of potential history-makers.
So, in celebration of Women’s History Month, I challenge you to look back, around, and forward. Reach out to someone you admire for some career advice. Reconnect with someone you loved working with way-back-when. Find someone who you can open a door for. This is how we truly celebrate Women’s History Month this month and beyond.
Micayla Brewster is a freelance social media manager who has managed the digital presence of brands within the world of Arts & Culture such as Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Association of Theatrical Press Agents & Managers, and Broadway Advocacy Coalition's 'Broadway for Black Lives Matter... Again' forums.
Most recently, she was an Account Manager at Marathon Digital, a social media agency that represents Broadway shows and live entertainment clients in NYC and around the world. She has led innovative social media campaigns for shows such as HAMILTON, Hadestown, Be More Chill, and Freestyle Love Supreme, among others.
Previously, she has worked at media and entertainment companies such as theSkimm and Paramount Pictures. She is deeply passionate about the strategy behind creative digital marketing campaigns, as well as rewatching The Office. @MicaylaBrewster, www.MicaylaBrewster.com