The average person has about 12 jobs during the span of their working life — with this number increasing for millennial workers. Assuming that you have one boss per job, that is at least 12 bosses who will have a direct impact on your career. Some positively and some otherwise. And whilst through the course of your career you might work with a number of great bosses, there is always one who you feel forever indebted to. Maybe they gave your first job, maybe they encouraged you to believe in yourself or maybe they supported you through a difficult time. In the spirit of all things love — I penned an open letter to the Woman #BossWhoMadeMe and invited members from our community to pen theirs too.
#BossWhoMadeMe: Pegi Gross [Submitted by Lisa Macintosh]
This is my letter to Pegi Gross, my first boss when I began working in advertising, 22 years ago.
We met when I was sitting behind the reception desk at Saatchi and Saatchi advertising. Me, with a cigarette in hand, headset attached to my big hair and giant glasses covering half of my face. You were always on the move, walking and talking, surrounded by people. You ran the media department; a group of over 20 young people, some new to ad life.
I desperately wanted to work in your department and when the opportunity came to apply for an entry-level position, I jumped at the chance.
I got that job and all of these years later, I remember walking into your office to thank you. You looked up at me and said, ‘thank me when your three-month probation is over’. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or be terrified.
Three months came and went and I proudly announced that I made it! That was the beginning of a long relationship that started as co-workers and ended as friends.
You stood up for me when I was afraid to. You fought to make sure that I was earning a fair wage, especially being a single mother. You encouraged me to go back to school. You hoped that I would someday deal with my alcohol addiction. You, this tough woman that had worked in Paris, ran businesses, raised a family, and knew the ad business inside and out, had a soft side that some of us were fortunate to witness. We all loved Friday afternoons when we would sit on the floor of our uptown office and listen to grand stories from the past. We were all so fortunate.
Thank you, Pegi. You truly helped me become the woman I am today; a successful, happy woman who owns her own business. You believed in me when I couldn’t. You pushed when I needed to be pushed. You listened and told me to do the same. I’ll never forget how proud you were when I finally did become sober.
In closing, I want to share something that you may not remember telling me. We were having sushi, it was February 15, 1996, you recited these words and told me to write them down and hold onto this piece of paper. I did.
“Lisa is a smart, intelligent, kind, ambitious human being. She is worth a hell of a lot more than she gives herself credit for. If she focused on her skills she could probably amount to something, in spite of herself. Isn’t it about time she tried?”.
I did amount to something and I’m proud of me! I’m a photographer, a mom, a wife, a grandmother, and a good human being.
Thank you, Pegi. You’ll always be one of my favourites.
READ: #BossWhoMadeMe: Bailey Wilson [Submitted by Deena Markus]
READ: #BossWhoMadeMe: Nancy Raymond [Submitted by Nathalie Punkkinen]
Would you like to a share a #BossWhoMadeMe open letter to a woman boss who has had a positive impact on your career? Send us an email with your open letter and the best ones will be shared as part of our #BossWhoMadeMe series.