Lessons from the Taulia LIFT program
In May this year, Taulia launched its annual Leadership Initiative for Taulia (LIFT) mentorship program. The program includes one-on-one mentoring, educational classes for all employees, a book/podcast club, guest speakers, and activities that inspire professional development.
The Taulia LIFT program encourages mentors to play the role of:
- Source of Encouragement/Support
- Resource Person
Mentees responsibilities include being the:
- Driver of Relationship
- Resource Partner
- Continuous Learner
In today’s blog post we speak to Mariya Karadzhova (Enterprise Automation Specialist) and Georgi Karaliev (NOC Engineer) from the 2020 cohort of mentees, about their experience so far.
What made you sign up for the LIFT program?
Mariya: I had just finished a degree in brand management, so it is really inspiring to talk to people who have experience in the area that I’m interested in. I was paired with the Head of Sales for APAC, Steve. I think the LIFT program is a great opportunity to meet people from around the world and talk to them about things you’re interested in. It also gives you the chance to see how things happen in practice. When you do a degree, most of it is theory – so it’s great to see how everything works in practice.
Georgi: My manager actually encouraged me and a colleague to sign up for LIFT – he said he’d heard great things about the program, so it was curiosity and also some encouragement that led me to take part. I work in the NOC (Network Operations Center) on shift, so we don’t get much regular time. I was skeptical at first, but it’s turned out great.
What have you learnt so far?
Mariya: It was interesting to have discussions with Steve on topics like brand image and brand management. I learned some interesting things about marketing and sales in Australia in particular, and we had discussions about different techniques, read articles etc. It was really useful for both me and him to do our homework.
Georgi: I was paired with Bryan, who is a solutions consultant for APAC – he is more of a sales guy, whereas I’m on the operational side of the business. So while he can’t necessarily help me directly when it comes to developing particular skills, he can tell me who I need to speak to. He’s also from Australia, so I’ve learned some things about the APAC region and how Taulia is developing and expanding there.
It’s been interesting to talk to someone with a whole other perspective – I didn’t know much about Australia or about life there before. Bryan mentioned that they had been staying at home even before Covid-19 due to the Australian bushfires, so they were somewhat prepared for that.
There’s also been a lot of social stuff while getting through the quarantine, which has really helped. We share a lot of interests, mainly training, fitness, sports and eating – all very important! We’ve actually agreed to keep in touch even after the program ends.
How do you think the program compliments your career development?
Mariya: I work on a technical team as well – my team is enterprise automation. I’ve had some previous experience in sales, but it’s been interesting to get a holistic perspective on how our B2B process works and to see how things go from beginning to end. So I’ve gained an understanding of what we do to improve brand image and how marketing picks that up, before the process comes to us to do the technical innovation.
Georgi: For me, the program has brought a different perspective in terms of how the company works, by giving me a glimpse into the sales department as well as a perspective from the other side of the planet. Bryan has more experience than me, so he’s also given me some general advice about my future career development.
How has your mentor inspired you?
Mariya: Steve started at Taulia at the beginning of this year and he was really eager to put great effort into everything. I’m really inspired by people who want to make a change, make a difference, and I think he’s a great example of that.
Georgi: Bryan is similar – he’s been with us for a year or so. He inspired me with his decisions in life: when he’s seen that a change was needed in his career, he’s been brave enough to do that. He’s also managing his family, his workload and his training sessions almost every day of the week. He inspires me to be a better person and to grow in all areas of my life, not only work related.
Have you been able to incorporate the learnings from the program into your everyday life?
Mariya: I would say not yet, but I’m considering doing a PhD in Marketing, so I might be able to incorporate some of this in my work in the future.
Georgi: If I haven’t incorporated them yet, I’m trying to incorporate them and constantly improve. Be like a shark – swim or die!