Meet A Mentor: Lauren
I met Lauren when we were at similar crossroads in our careers: both former media executives that felt called to a new adventure. Plus we both carry a strong desire to help others. I am honored that she is part of our inaugural mentor network and that her wisdom is now available to everyone!
What do you know now that you wish you knew back then?
It’s ok to look for other positions in your company. I liked my company a lot but felt self-conscious about looking around for other jobs there. I ended up changing my department after 17 years at my company and it was a great experience! I know now that if you are doing well at a company they will help you find another position there because they know the value of keeping a person who already knows the ropes and who obviously wants to stay with the company. And there is a lot of benefit to having someone with a wider perspective to how things are done and sharing that with both the old and new departments.
Tell us about a mentor in your life…
There is a friend of my family who I love talking with about my career challenges. Even though she is in a completely different field from me (she is a medical professional), she gives me just the right balance of head and heart advice. She is very practical about what steps need to be taken and how important people connections are in the workplace and also recognizes that it’s important to do what we love.
What’s the best piece of feedback you ever got?
I had said something I had thought was silly in a meeting (I can’t remember now what it was) and I mentioned to my boss at the time that I wish I hadn’t said it. He had also been in the meeting and didn’t think what I said was a problem in any way. His response was, “It’s your prerogative”, which really challenged me to look at how much I judged my thoughts and ideas, which ultimately led to me not speaking up in meetings. And in this instance, when I had, I had felt silly afterward. But his response was so nonchalant, “It’s your prerogative”, that I realized that as long as I trust myself (which I do), I know I’m not going to say anything so outrageous that would offend anyone or make me look incompetent. It’s really only a little bit of vulnerability that held me back from participating. And if I keep practicing, it gets easier.
Why do you love mentoring?
If something I’ve experienced can help someone else move forward in their lives with a little extra grace, ease, confidence and pizazz, what an amazingly straightforward thing we can do for our fellow humans! And I get to learn from whoever I talk to as well!
And your favorite article here?
I love “5 Tips For Writing Less And Saying More“. Not only are there practical and solid ideas and exercises to implement, but this sentence drives home the purpose of writing and presenting something, “The goal is to get the audience engaged enough to ask questions.” Engagement and discussion are key to ideas and projects gaining traction and moving forward in an organization.