Have a Mentor, Be a Mentor
This summer it will have been twelve years since I graduated college. And yet, the learning never stopped. I still make a point to take every opportunity to develop professionally, and continue to expand my skillset. But sometimes it's necessary to stop. And to think.
To think about how what we've learned, where we've been, and how we've built our careers can enhance and perhaps even ensure another person's success.
When I graduated from the University of Maryland in 1999, it was right at the peak of the internet bubble. I had no idea how much having a mentor would impact my career, and how that impact would still resonate with me to this day.
I was lucky. In 1999, jobs were plentiful. My first job was an "executive support person" (yep, you're right, a glorified administrative assistant) for three senior vice presidents at a business and technology consulting firm. My first three months flew by fast and next thing I knew I found myself helping to open up a brand new office in another city, sitting in on high level executive meetings, and recruiting forty new hires in a matter of months. After the office was up and running, I went and worked with the user experience group at the same company and soon after that was groomed to rise in the ranks of the client relationship management track. Those were the days of stock options, stock splits, making the S&P 500 as a digital company (uncommon back then), and riding the wave of a growing, successful company. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the two founders were in their early thirties at the time?
Then the bubble burst. And about half the company got laid off (along with thousands of others at interactive and tech agencies around the country and the world). Pink slip parties were the norm (remember those?).
But I learned a lot in those two years and it was because I had incredible mentors.