You may be interested to learn that January is National Mentoring Month. For the third year in a row, SparkPost is in the midst of running our annual Mentor Program. Employees may choose to participate as a mentor or mentee and are paired up to work towards professional or personal development goals. Everyone from tenured employees, “repeat offenders” (those who participated in prior years now acting in a different role), to new hires and VPs are on the list of participants.
If you’ve never had one, then you may not know the benefits of working with a mentor are pretty much endless. During our kickoff meeting last October, I shared just a few of the perks that working with a mentor deliver:
- Helps provide professional development
- Demonstrates recognition of his or her knowledge, skills and abilities
- Helps advance his or her career more quickly
- Increases confidence
- Helps remote employees feel more in touch socially and professionally
- Provides the fulfillment and satisfaction of helping others
- Gives “payback” for the support received from others in the past
- Increases employee morale
- Supports an innovative work environment
Since taking over managing the program two years ago, I realized that it “takes a village” not only to raise children but to help one another in the working world as well. As we build relationships with one another in the workplace, you may find yourself connecting with people whose values and opinions matter to you. You may bounce ideas off of them and talk about future plans of transitioning to other roles within, or perhaps out of, your company. This more informal type of mentoring can be impactful for sure. But think of what you could do with that person if you actually set goals and made a promise to work towards bettering yourself.
Without our spectacular employees who are willing to give time outside of their busy schedules to be a mentor and support a fellow SparkPoster, the program wouldn’t exist. In that same vein, I applaud our mentees; those folks who can look inside themselves and recognize a desire to improve and are willing to ask for help. There is a wonderful sense of collaboration that comes out of interacting with coworkers on a vulnerable and sometimes intimate level. It really is a true testament to the types of folks who decide to come join our company.
If you are interested in working towards something bigger, something more, then I say go out and find a mentor. For a quick read and some insight into how to get started on your journey, I recommend picking up a copy of One Minute Mentoring by Kenneth Blanchard and Claire Diaz Ortiz. And if you’re in the market for a new opportunity and want to come work for a great company with awesome people, consider browsing our Open Positions.