I spent my entire life believing that the only way to success was to be the smartest person in the room. And if I couldn't be that, then I needed to at least act like I was. My job out of college was as an account manager at a large asset management company. It was an interesting journey with that organization. On the one hand, I learned more about fulfilling a client's needs than I had ever thought was possible. But on the other hand, I never felt like I was bringing my true passion to the work. It was certainly important work, both to our organization and to the people whose money we were managing, but I often found myself wondering if there was more.

The pressure to appear perfect built over time. It was my responsibility to send out the newsletter and on one instance, I sent it out to each of our clients to thank them for their patience during market volatility. Rather... to thank them for their "patients."

Oops.

The number of letters we received confirmed that the simple misspelling of a word (one that couldn't be caught by spell check) was more than a small fuck up in this world of perfection. Most of the responses to this "disaster" said something along the lines of "how can I trust you to manage my money when you can't even spell?" I would spend years after this second guessing everything I said or every email I wrote.

After so many years of pretending to be something I wasn't, I'm finally learning to embrace the value that I bring to work I care about. And even more important to me, I'm using the talents I've developed in other facets of my life, like previous jobs and in my role as a mom, in new and different ways. Where I once wondered if I was wasting them on investments, I can now clearly see the import of them to work that matters and the import of everything I learned along the way.

I've traded in my suits for jeans and my catered lunches for bagels at DIB.