It took me awhile to figure it out, but, I am a writer. The longer I worked the more I realized my passion in life was with writing and communication. Since my current job involved no writing at all I was looking for a change. I didn’t want to leave my company or all of the insurance knowledge I had gained over the years, so I looked for an inside move. My sights were set on our company’s Communications area. Without any related experience or a related degree I knew it would be tough. I needed some help. That’s when I reached out to the one person I knew in the Communications area, a person I had been looking up to for inspiration for years, and asked her if she would consider mentoring me?
I had no idea what to expect when I asked Laurie if she would be my mentor. I was hoping she would accept, meet with me a few of times, give me a couple of writing assignments, and layout a rough map of what I needed to be doing to get where I wanted to be. Well, almost two years later our monthly meetings have continued and the scope of our discussions have expanded to more than the narrow field of communications.
Is this mentor – mentee relationship what I expected?
It was much, much more.
Professionally, my mentor has given me more than I expected.
- She has shared her vast network of contacts with me.
- Guided me on where the company is moving and where opportunities for experience and jobs will be.
- Brought me up to speed on what industry leaders to follow and what books to read.
- Stressed exactly the things I needed to do in our company to succeed (and have a chance at moving into the career I dream of).
But, it was the non-professional things that had a bigger impact on me.
- I am more motivated now then I have ever been in my work. Not only do I have that dream of moving into a communications job, but with my mentor’s support it feels like it is a realistic goal.
- Having someone you trust, to share personal work related problems (such as conflicts with coworkers or management) is invaluable. Especially if that person, like my mentor, has been on the other side of the fence in management roles.
- It has made me more empathetic. My mentor has changed the way I view those above me. She has allowed me to see the more human side to those in supervisory/managerial/directorial roles.
I did not expect this mentor mentee thing to cause such a monumental change in the way I feel about work, but, it definitely has. I am a much better employee in every way because of it.
This week’s #HappyAct is the a repeat of last week’s: find someone to help you grow. And thanks, Matt, it’s been a slice!
Contributing author: Mathew is a very productive and sarcastic cubicle citizen who reads way too many Dilbert comics. He blogs about his life outside of work at theplaceunderthepine.blogspot.ca.