“Hey, what are you up to? Let me know if you will be XX by the next few months so that I can help make some introduction”
“So good to hear from you! I’m recovering from a procedure from IVF but I’m doing well. Where are you heading to? I may plan a trip soon.”
Soon after I entered ‘send’, this conversation became radio silent. I didn’t hear from him for a nearly a month.
I am not sure if my mentor was confused by my response. Or he just took it as “I am taking a break in my career and making babies now. Bye!”
Obviously, I didn’t get the ‘introduction’. The feeling is so cold as I felt like I am not the ‘chosen one’, just like the ladies in any episodes of the ‘Bachelor’ . I am no longer being invited into an elite group of executive business; I won’t be joining the important conversation of investment for the future. For a few seconds or hours, I felt worthless. All the hard works that I put in order to follow the shadow of my executive sponsor meant nothing now. All I have left was a bunch of tight pants, dresses and business tops that I can no longer wear (due to weight gain by fertility treatment).
If you are reading this, I am not asking you to lie to your mentor / boss about IVF. Nothing will make you feel more relief and powerful than telling the truth. But if you are like me, I want you to be prepared that male mentors aren’t necessarily trained / prepared to assist women like me, who is undergoing fertility crisis. The fact that they are kind enough to take you on board, despite the gender gap, is already remarkable. What I’d suggest is not to take the ‘silence’ as a rejection. Find the most appropriate time to engage with him and to let him know that you are always appreciative of his support. Always be grateful for his thoughtfulness and continue to maintain the mentoring relationship the best you can.
And last but not least, don’t put too many eggs in one basket. There is always someone out there that is nurturing and eager to listen.