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  • Writer's pictureTünde Lukacs

Do you find it easy to have a work confidant?

Someone to share the small wins, the frustrations?

I most definitely did not.

Fresh out of university, I started my career in a new country. No network, no allies, and certainly no mentors to guide me. Sure, I knew people, but I lacked deep bonds of trust.

It was a lot to learn: a new culture, new industry - energy trading is a vibrant and demanding world. I was eager but also very young and had lots of insecurities: am I doing the job right? Am I good enough / fast enough to learn? I kept the questions to myself. After all, I was not raised to be comfortable talking about hardships.

In my mind, success stories were to share, failures were to forget fast. Work friendships were pleasant but always had an edge of competition.

Then I met Irina. She completely changed my perspective. We were teammates. She reached out, connected with me, and her willingness to share her own experiences made me feel safe. I finally had the courage to talk about not only the wins, but also the difficulties. And many times, we fought through them side by side.

Irina was also a working mom, a role model I really needed when I became a mother myself. She showed me, that it was possible to come back to my career while raising a child - one of the only women around me to do so at that time.

As my career progressed and we both changed jobs and cities, she remained a constant source of support. This relationship helped me grow. I learnt how to build a safe space to be honest, celebrate the good and work through the bad at work. And through almost two decades, we became friends and still do a lot of peer mentorship - sometimes during a multi-day hike trip in Madeira 🤩

Do you have someone like this in your work life?

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