What I learned from my awesome colleague


When we hired a new member of staff I was pretty happy with who we picked. She’s great! On her first day at work – due to an unfortunate series of events—I nearly cut her finger clean off. I blame her entirely, but that’s not how she tells it. The blade of an old fashioned guillotine came down really slowly on her knuckle as we whittled down some posh invitations cards to fit into really small envelopes. It sliced all the way through her skin before she said very politely, “um, I think that might be my finger.” Needless to say I was horrified. But she was pretty cool about it. I think.

Almost a year later, one evening after work—perhaps as a petty act of vengeance—she dragged me to a workshop on ‘being a confident woman at work’. I did not want to go. But my colleague is always going to events, applying for fun things and living life to the max with a meticulous little diary and a very quiet, but kick-ass, attitude. I wanted to be a little bit more like her, so I agreed to go. And it was awful. I knew it would be. There was no food. We learned nothing about confidence. We came away disappointed and hungry. But full of ideas. We talked a lot about how we would have done it better. So we decided to make our own short film about confident women. We reached out to women who are leading the way across a range of industries and asked them to share on camera their secrets to feeling confident in their field. It’s been great fun, opened a few doors and brought some unexpected opportunities our way.

So aside from scarring my colleague for life (literally), I think I’ve taught her to shout a little louder for help when things start to go wrong! Pretty sound advice all things considered. But what has she taught me in return? If anything, she’s taught me this: stop waiting for a “good time” to do things. Stop ignoring opportunities when they come along. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired after work. There is never a good time. But right now is usually the perfect time because, let’s face it, when else is there? If my awesome colleague hadn’t persuaded me to spend one evening doing something a little bit different, we would never have started this project and experienced all the positives that have come with it. We’re still filming and editing and frantically getting ready for our big launch next month—it’s crazy but fantastic—watch this space! 



Written Shirin Zaid

Photography by Artotem