A goodbye letter to my former bosses, I can finally tell you how I feel.

The picture in the heading is of a mom with 4 jobs to make ends meet. A worried scientist who had just left academia. A skilled analyst who had just gotten a freelance job.

Here I was happy, and grateful and exhausted and I wanted to capture that in a picture. I had applied for so many jobs, and not gotten a single interview, but my pride and joy had said “mom” for the first time that day, and none of it mattered for a little while.

After many failed attempts at getting a contract or even an interview (even being rejected from assistant nursing jobs, administration jobs and Burger King because I was “over qualified”. The recruiter didn’t even read my cover letter explaining that I was moving, and that I had two addresses and I registered….both. So she could find me.

It was hard, and I was very disappointed and sad.

The day I decided to give up on health care, I saw an ad that made me jump out of my seat; “ Organizational Developer — Psychiatry”.

I sent an email to a department I had read about and done statistics on which seemed to be breaking a lot of negative trends, and I was curious. So I sent in a job application.

Unlike the hundreds of people before him (even his own colleagues), Tobias Nordin didn’t turn me away, he gave me a chance to come to an interview. That is where I met him and Mathias Alvidius for the first time.

With an open mind, they opened the door which so often is closed to women and immigrants without connections, and I was both.

Tobias also visited my home page with my articles on science communication and my half-baked prototypes that showed what I could do.

Unlike the hundreds of people before him, he took the time to klick the link an applicant had sent in their CV, and went beyond my diploma or my name.

That is the difference between a leader in name and and someone who actually leads: they look for potential, not obstacles.

On my page they saw that I had the qualification and tools to help them.

They gave me a short term contract to help out colleagues with IT development. My colleague Peter Asplund was the first to put me to work on Qlik View and FileMaker projects which quickly grew in to other digitalisation efforts. Peter is the kindest, smartest and most open minded developer I have ever met. Without knowing it they put together two forward thinking developers who had grand plans for the future. 5 years later, and I’m still at Sahlgrenska, generating new research and prototypes, and a few headlines.

None of these headlines would have been possible if Mathias Alvidius hadn’t been the type of leader who trusted me, and given me the tools and support that I needed.

They also gave me the trust and support that I needed so that I not only would be stuck solving problems, but to create opportunities for change. And short term turned in to full time!

They did so because they were excellent leaders, knowing how to nourish a true intrapreneur.

I am very grateful to them and the support I have received at Område 2, SU (especially Boel Mörck who created an open minded environment while she was the head of the division).

I haven’t been able to write this before, because I never wanted it to seem as “salary raise fishing”. Well, they don’t decide my salary any more :).

My last few months have been under the leadership of Johannes Nordholm. It is a deep sorrow in my heart to say good-bye to Johannes since he has not only supported my work, he has been very kind and supportive to me as a person and provided a kind voice in very difficult times.

As I move on to more research and development based position, I hope that this story inspires everyone to dare to invite someone unconventional to the interview.

In todays climate it is a wonder to meet one good leader, and I was fortunate to have experienced 4!

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I’m like an open book. Full of numbers.

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