Updated: Feb 3
There are many young professionals out there, who are learning the ropes and trying to get things right early in their career. I have encountered several such individuals who have lost themselves, their voice and power to older mentors who groom them to do their bidding, do unpaid intellectual labour for them behind the scenes in the guise of 'training', and then who systematically dismantle their confidence with belittling behaviours.
If this is you, or someone you know, then please know that:
Never follow a leader. Follow a vision.
Listen to your gut feelings. If you're asking yourself if you're being used, you probably are.
Anyone who makes you question your sanity, while also taking up your time at and off work, and whose demands or remarks keep you up at night isn't 'helping you grow'- they are bullying you.
If something isn't in your job description, and if other people in your workplace don't know it is you who is working on something, don't do it. You are being exploited. Someone else is taking the credit for your thoughts, ideas and effort.
Mentors are not permanent. You owe them gratitude and respect, but not your life. You are allowed to outgrow them, yet carry their lessons with you in genuine and enduring ways.