Muses

I was preparing an university master class when my thoughts drifted off: "What should I impart to the students when they start their business career?"

Fragility

With a deep sigh my manager is reading my clients proposal and begins to write furiously. The moment she hands over the corrected version I only half listen and the words "there are a few good points" translate in my ear to "It's useless." My self-assurance weakens and my enthusiasm to share new ideas disappears.

Overtime

I have often heard people say that hard work brings success. I interpreted this myself to mean "working hard and long". My motto was "Be first in the office and last to leave." After a few years I became tired of this ritual and to be honest, I progressed well, but I didn't become a nicer person because of it. I still remember the time very well when I was first given the opportunity to speak to an international management board, whilst simultaneously receiving an invitation for an important private moment. I chose wrong.

Ego

Someone presented one of my ideas under his own name and received a standing ovation for it; then, something in me snapped - unfair! I rang my partner who reacted by congratulating me saying how cool it was that they were going to use that idea. You can continue to face yourself in the mirror and stay believing in yourself "even if you don't get the credit for it." My next Manager was fantastic and he aired that everyone has value and explained why. If a manager feels more important himself than the receptionist then you are barking up the wrong tree.

Three things stick with me. My own vulnerability as a beginner employee, overtime does not guarantee a successful career and one's ego can be best left in the fridge, because alone you can do nothing but together you can do everything!

Moniek van Rheenen-Schreurs