I moved 500 miles away from my friends and family to accept my first job. Because of the work we do with students, I expected folks to reach out. I didn’t know enough to do this on my own, so I spent my first year feeling like the new kid in the grade school lunch room. ”You need a mentor!” people would say. But it’s a heavy thing, searching for a mentor. How do you find the one person who should be your counselor, supporter, and tough-love giver?
Fast forward three years, I still don’t have a mentor. But what I have is better.
The “Super Important Daily Meeting” formed accidentally, one year into my job. It began with a tweet, was followed by a lunch date, and turned into a way to welcome and retain new staff. As our division hired new professionals, we made sure to pull them into the fold. Because everyone wants to belong.
Our little group has grown. And if I am completely honest, their support is a huge reason why I’ve stayed here so long. Each day, I am surrounded by people who push me to do better. They are positive, poised, fun, persistent, inquisitive, and kind. Most importantly, they are not afraid to tell me when I’m wrong.
If you pick up the book Vital Friends by Tom Rath, you’ll learn the psychology behind companionship and success in the workplace. We know college students have higher success rates if they feel connected and supported, well so do we.
If you’re new and nodding your head– don’t wait for someone to reach out. Do it yourself… what do you have to lose?