Thank you letter to a guide in my life. (Merit Badge Projects - March 2014)
I know we make a point of having regular lunches now that we don't work together anymore, and I know I've thanked you many, many times over the years, but I don't think I've ever really taken the time to sit down and write you a letter expressing my appreciation and gratitude for all the ways that you've helped guide me over the years.
This business is an incredibly difficult one to break into, and an even more difficult one to remain sane in. When executives hire assistants, they're mostly concerned about their own needs: having their phones answered, their meetings scheduled, and their mundane administrative tasks handled. Despite the fact that very few assistants dream of remaining assistants forever, the general approach by executives is to treat them only as assistants, then find a new one when their current assistant quits in search of a better opportunity for advancement.
Imagine my surprise - especially coming off a job where I worked for an executive just like that, who even promised advancement then reniged - when you took an active interest in my career and asked me not only where I saw myself advancing, but also how could you help me get there!
The two years that we worked together were some of my favorite professional moments; you always answered questions when I had them, and challenged me to take on more responsibility and handle increasingly complex tasks, even if it meant you had to answer your own phones every once in a while, or schedule your own meetings. You truly acted as a mentor to me, teaching me and showing me what an executive needed to be responsible for. Then, when you left the company, you didn't just put in your notice and leave; you spent countless hours negotiating with your soon-to-be former employer, convincing them that I was capable of stepping up and helping to fill the shoes that you were leaving.
You were responsible for getting me over that seemingly insurmountable hurdle from assistant to executive, and you've been largely responsible for much of the advice and guidance I've needed ever since. Even though we haven't worked at the same company in more than half a decade, we still meet for lunch and you still help me navigate through life's troubled waters.
There aren't many people in my life that I could consider real, honest-to-God mentors or guides, but you're one of the few I count when it comes to my professional life. You're not only a good man and a smart executive, you've also been a great friend to an assistant you had no reason to treat as an equal. And now you're grooming your current assistant in the same way you've groomed me, and all I can say is, "Lucky him."
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you've done to help me succeed. As trite as it may sound, it's entirely true that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for you. I continue to appreciate all your mentorship and guidance.
"Merit Badge Projects" (March 2014) Prompt: Write a letter to someone, you feel, has been a guide in your life and let them know. Of course, you do not need to send this letter. For example, this might be a family member, friend, coach, teacher or someone who doesn't know they have inspired you. You do not need to use real names. But you do need to address the letter to someone and sign it from yourself. Your maximum word count is 2000 words. Word count should be written somewhere in your item's body. Submissions should be posted in the forum below in the bitem format. If you cannot do this, please email Fran. Be as creative as you like. Feel free to use images, videos and timelines. BUT if you do, make sure you talk about them in your writing.