I’ve always believed that it’s best to find a job and company you love to work for and then find a way to bring the things that give you joy into that job. I’m the Vice President of Professional Services and have worked at Taulia for 8 years. I’ve been managing implementation teams for almost 20 years. Now I love a good to-do list as much as anyone, but I can’t say that I find joy in creating a project plan or hosting a weekly status call.
My real passion is in coaching and mentoring other people. I always tell people that my dream job would be Chief Mentoring Officer, where I could spend most of my day helping Taulia employees grow and develop in their own careers. But I don’t want to give up Professional Services, because I’m good at that too. So, I found a way to bring joy, through mentoring and coaching, into my current job. It’s called the LIFT program.
I created the LIFT program at Taulia in January of 2015. I’m grateful that Taulia is the kind of company where you are encouraged to create and try new things. LIFT stands for Leadership Initiative for Taulia. The program is designed to give Taulia employees an opportunity to engage in professional development and mentoring.
LIFT Mentoring is the biggest part of the program. Each quarter, we allow employees to sign up for the program. They can always keep their existing mentor, or they can sign up to receive someone new. The mentees are responsible for reaching out to their mentor and scheduling the meetings on their calendar. We provide a guideline on the roles and responsibilities of a mentor and a mentee and encourage them to meet at least twice a month for an hour each.
I’m especially proud of the LIFT Women organization. The women of Taulia come together every other month to hear from strong women about their career development and get advice on how to navigate as a woman in the tech industry. We’ve had speakers like Karen Riley, Angel Investor, Elizabeth Buse, former Visa Executive, and Dede Wakefield, CEO of Alogent, to name a few.
We also have a podcast club where each month we listen to recommended podcasts and then discuss them as a group, similar to a book club format. But most importantly, we support each other as women of Taulia. We call this LIFT Love. To give LIFT Love to the women of Taulia we do the following:
Women are great at complimenting each other on a great outfit or new shoes, but think about qualities a woman possess that are relevant to her work or the mission of the company and praise her on those too. Get into the habit of doing this every time you’re tempted to just compliment her looks.
So often a woman’s thoughtfulness or hard work goes unrecognized. It is important to express out loud, or better yet, in writing ccing her manager, when you think a colleague is doing something well (it doesn’t have to be exceptional for you to recognize her).
A woman may say something in a meeting or email thread that is overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. To avoid these situations, start by listening to what she had to say, and repeat it, giving her credit for her ideas, words, or contributions to the discussion.
If you know a woman at work struggling to lean in and you recognize it, talk to them, encourage them, and be in her corner. Encourage them to jump on an opportunity when they may be hesitant or unsure of their capacity to take on a project. Be a mentor when you see the opportunity.
This year, we are expanding our program to have guest speakers for the entire company, not just the women. I can’t wait to bring in more leaders to share their thoughts on leadership, share their personal story on their career development, and share lessons learned along their professional journey.