Finding your passion
It’s no secret, I have never really been able to answer the question; What is your passion? I mean – when I was younger, I would have answered that reading books or spending time with the horses was my passion. Then a lot of years in High School, Law School and in the Industry passed, and I never really found my ‘thing’. Started studying Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen (DIKU) and liked almost all the courses. I absolutely hated Object Oriented Programming and anything Network related, haha, but besides that, I liked it all.
I’ve always been good at project management. Any kind of it. I worked as a project manager and koordinator before entering DIKU, and at DIKU I spend a lot of time in several student organisations. In my spare time, I continued working with projects and some sort of relationship management both as jobs and also in volunteering organisations hosting all sorts of events. Becoming a great project manager was most the reason for starting at DIKU and just thought that was my destiny.
But I never felt that deep deep excitement, that I would expect from a true passion. That feeling where your entire fiber of your body is feeling it. Feeling that THIS is what you should do. I think the horses and my books when I was a kid, did it for me back then, but from there until now, I haven’t really felt it.
Then I wrote my thesis. I found the passion. Think I re-wrote several sections multiple times because of the anger, I was feeling. These stories from the women of DIKU was so unfair. No one should be made to feel like they did. Like WE did. I wanted to do well, not just to prove to myself that I could, but also in honour of these women. They deserve to get their stories shouted out for everyone to hear.
And I did well. I delivered a piece of work that I am insanely proud of. I nailed the defense and got the highest grades. I remember feeling a huge sense of relieve and then thinking – okay, guess that was it. Back to being the slightly boring but well known cocoon of project management. The job where the personal challenges was getting further and further apart. But then things started to happen. Not only did I feel a change inside me. I was more confident. And I wasn’t ready to let it go. Combining that with the CIO from GN Store Nord walking up to my desk at work asking me, if I was willing to share a little bit of my work at the next Townhall. Actually, she would like me to both speak at the Townhall, but also to host my own GN IT Talk. It lit up that excitement – I felt it everywhere and I was bubbling with pride, happiness and a good portion of nerves.
Not only did I get surprised at the end of the Townhall with the announcement of me winning the very first GN IT COURAGE AWARD, I also got several comments of me being a great speaker. I was able to engage people. I got them laughing, thinking and taking in a quite serious topic. Further, at the coming Townhalls, other colleagues started sharing their personal stories.
That’s when I started realising something – I had found something here. Something that spoke to me. Diversity & Inclusion. Help create safe spaces for people to flourish. That was my thing. It also made me think back in time, which again made me realise things. What I liked about sport was, that it made people come together about something. What I loved about the social committees at the University was the unity – the feeling of belonging. What I loved about my work was making people work together in a team towards the same goal. Making sure people were having fun while still being busy. That everyone was acknowledged because everyone matters in a team. I have always spoken up against injustice, and always tried to make the world around a place, where people felt they belonged.
So I guess the passion has always been there, but it took 36 years and a Master Thesis before I realised it myself. Sometimes, I can get a bit frustrated about that. I mean – I remember when participating in a talk by Mette Højen some years ago and realising she was my age. She had a company, had written a book and was very successful. I felt this stab in my heart because what had I accomplished? At that moment, I felt I had accomplished about nothing.
Now I know – because of my thesis and the work I have done for my self in the last few years, that I might not have a book out – yet, or a company – yet. But I have overcome more traumas than most. I have been knocked down more times than I can count, and I have gotten back up every single time. I am still standing, and it might have taken me 36 years to reveal my passion and to make a significant dent into my insecurities, but I am still here. I am growing, I am learning, and I am having more and more fun.
I can’t wait to see, what will happen next – I just hope, I will be able to share it with as many of you as possible!