Who’s your advocate?

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in aging, women's health, Work/occupation | 2 comments

Do you have an advocate? Someone who understands you, knows  you well enough to read between the lines, trusts you and actually likes you?

If you do, luck is your lady. And if you have an advocate in your professional life? Boy, that’s the lottery, the gold ring, Nirvana.

So let’s talk about that, shall we?

I’ve written previously about becoming invisible in the work world as we age. I have written about friendships and the health benefits that can be gleaned. And I have written about how the transition can change our outlook on work and life. But what happens when all of these things converge? Is it the perfect storm? Or just perfect?

I want to share a story. When I was in my Twenties, just starting out in my career, I worked for a NYC PR agency. After the head of our department sadly passed away from AIDS, he was replaced by someone from our parent company who was very competent but very insecure. I was already a fixture so she had to deal with me and reluctantly she did. And then she brought in a woman who I was supposed to hate. Seriously, those were her words. And that person? She was told she would hate me.

Guess what? Not only did we not realize pretty quickly that we did not hate one another but it turned out to be one of the most productive and functioning professional relationships I have ever experienced. More importantly, I gained a friend.

And, after many decades, while the friendship has remained, fate has brought our professional relationship back into being. Who would have thunk it when both of us were in our twenties and living in NYC and two women who were theoretically not destined to get along?

I’m tough to work with at times. No, I am downright difficult and impatient. But I have a birdseye view of things and can see waaaay into the future of a project, which is an important asset. And her? She’s really smart and patient and has really good instincts. And is really strategic, like me. Together, we make a pretty fine couple. And a fantabulous team and probably should have always been merged into one. A professional one.

What a concept!

So, I digress. Because I want to share that advocates are SO important as we grow into our professional roles. I have been fortunate to have several in my life. Really fortunate. But more importantly, when you find that special advocate (or advocates), don’t let them go. Let them know how much you appreciate them. And nurture them as they nurture you.

Hey Melon. You are da bomb. No really!

Thank you. I love you through and through.

We ain’t 26 or 27 anymore sister, but we still are. Wow! How lucky am I?




  1. 12-14-2012

    Advocates = awesome.  This past week in San Antonio, I watched six women with triple negative breast cancer become a force to be reckoned with.  I have the great honor to work with @drattai  and @stales  to educate and empower breast cancer survivors on Twitter.  I’m surrounded by incredible individuals who are collectively changing the face of women’s health.  And you are part of that community.  
    Thanks for all you do,

    • 12-14-2012

      What a great comment Jody. Thank you for all you do!

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