In the varied experiences that 22 years have given me, I’ve found some great bosses; but I had never had the privilege of experiencing a mentor in the workplace (hint: until improve it! Came along). As it turns out, there’s a pretty big difference.
I did not realize I was missing out on a whole different ballgame of boss-hood until I arrived at improve it!’s doorstep. It was here that I learned of the word “mentor” and all of its boundless possibilities.
Having a mentor changes the way you think about yourself, it changes the way you think about the company you’re working for, and it changes the way you work.
Those two mentors would be the two gals who I get to learn’n’laugh with: Our very own Director of operations Allie Keller and founder Erin Diehl.
To make this as concise as possible, I’ve made a list of ways mentors (particularly these two) can change the game at work:
When you bosses invest in you, your company is investing in you. And when your company invests in you, you want to invest in your company.
It’s not hard to care about a company that you genuinely believe in. It’s even easier to care about a company that cares about you. For those who might not know, running your own company is pretty busy work. So when your boss takes time to sit with you and work through plans and goals both personal and professional, it makes you think - HEY what did I ever do to deserve this? They’re taking time that is genuinely valuable and investing it in me? Well, that makes me want to throw that energy right back into my company.
Turns out, it’s a lot easier to be confident in your work when you think what you’re producing is worthwhile. It’s far easier to feel that what you’re producing is worthwhile if you’ve got some real confidence in your back pocket. AND It’s a lot easier to have that confidence when people are powerfully affirming you and the good things you do.
Cause and effect people! If something good happens in this here office, you best believe it’s getting celebrated. There are cheers, there is occasional confetti and there are words of affirmation galore.
There’s not a ton of tough, but there is a lot of learning. If an idea needs reworking, if a goal needs to be redirected, or if a thought could use some polishing, that honest redirection is sent my way. Potentially the most valuable part of being in mentorship with these two is that I’ve learned where a lot of my weaknesses lie and I’ve been given direction on how to turn those into something else. That is something that I’ve sue positively impacts our dear company but something that I get to keep with my wherever I go.
The fact of it all is that having mentors at work has changed the way I personally work, and I believe it very seriously affects our work environment in the best way. Mentorship has the potential to shape the way any business operates for the better.
Conclusion #1: If you have a mentor, thank that mentor. If you don’t have a mentor, get a mentor.
Conclusion #2: I love coming into work everyday, and most of it is due to who I work with. I am so grateful to be a part of the improve it! team and am glad to be an advocate for what they do because I sure do believe in it, but more than that I believe in the people that are doing it.
Lauren Groberski is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago. At Loyola she studied Advertising and Public Relations and Women and Gender Studies. Through professional and academic work, she's developed an interest for social media, public relations, and marketing.
She is a member of the improve it!’s internal team as their social media intern.