Riding the Mentor-Ship

Obligatory cheesy mentor photo

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while; if you’ve even read just 2-3 posts, you must think I am an absolute genius. You must think I’ve got it all together and my life is as near perfect as humanly possible. At work, I am a super star. I’m climbing the corporate ladder like one of those crazy guys from Cirque du Soleil. Well, I hate to ruin the fantasy, but none of that is true.

I know! If you want to stop reading now, that’s ok with me. I would.

As it turns out, the more I learn about me, about life, about my faith, and even about work, the more I realize I don’t know. I’ve been doing this corporate thing for about as long as I’ve been a believing Christian.

In my walk with God, he has provided a number of mentors for me in just the right form, at just the right moment. And, though I would have liked to have kept them around longer, at some point, God takes them away. I presume this is so I can take a few more steps forward before I fall down again and he, or he sends someone, to help me back up onto my feet.

In my corporate life, I have never really wanted a mentor, and therefore, have never had a mentor. I never thought I would work in this environment for this long. I never thought I would need a mentor at work because I had this idea that I would somehow trip and fall and land in my dream life. But, that hasn’t been the case, and I have realized over the last 4-6 months that I am going to have to put in some serious effort to make my dream come true while I continue to grind it out at my job.

Back in March of this year I was sent to Wisconsin for work. My co-worker and I were sent there to observe a team, learn what they do, what their processes are, and what issues they run into on a day-to-day basis, and report back to our higher-ups. We devised a short-term and a long-term plan for how we could help alleviate the issues these people were facing, and lighten their work load so they could focus on other projects. While we were there we met a guy who was kind of the right hand man of one of the higher-higher ups…you know, the guys who make the big decisions and get paid really nice sums of money, and who the rest of the company complains are idiots…yeah, those guys. Anyway, in this meeting, we talked for maybe 15-20 minutes about various work related topics. I liked the guy. He seemed easy to talk to, and pretty different from most “executives” you meet.

And then we left. But, I had a feeling that meeting would be important. I looked him up on LinkedIn when I got back home and connected with him while he still knew my name.

Months pass by.

As we made slow progress on this Wisconsin project, we start to hear more about this guy. Then, all of a sudden, he has been moved down to our area and will be working in our office.

Weeks pass by.

I have been working to get my self out of the position I have held for the last 6 years. It’s time to do something else. I have been stressing about work for a while now and was pretty much decided to just quit, walk away, and figure it out later. But, then I read Quitter by Jon Acuff and realized that would be a bad choice. So instead, I prayed. I gave it to God and stopped worrying about it. God knows the desires of my heart, and is pretty consistent about answering prayers. He began the ball rolling on my exit from my current department, and into another department with the same company. I have been communicating with my future boss and working on projects 50% of the time while continuing to do my current job the other 50% of the time, but still only getting paid for one job. Hopefully, by the beginning of the new year, I will be able to fully transition over to the new job. And, as it turns out, this guy we met in Wisconsin, who is now working out of my office, has recently taken the reigns over the department that I will be transitioning to (God willing).

I have made it a point to meet with him whenever I can and we have a good working relationship going. I have never wanted a work mentor, but it seems I need one, and this guy has been around, and seen a lot, and has already helped me to focus in on what is important. I look forward to seeing where God takes this relationship, and how He will use it for our good.

How did you find your mentor?


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