ShiftZen Technologies

Let's Make Work Fun Together

Mentors Can Be Found In Unexpected Places

As we travel through our lives, one of the things that happens is we learn. I've found that learning facts and figures and can be done in infinite numbers of ways. Parents, teachers, internet, books....these are what I consider to be traditional ways. The kind you can't control or really 'seek', is that person who becomes a mentor. It is often not until well after the learning has taken place, that you can even realize it happened. While in school, I met such an individual. He was the manager of a restaurant I went to work in after I'd had a short/moderately successful career in real estate that I just didn't like. I wanted to finish my degree and learn more about programming, so I ditched it all and a great friend got me a job at a restaurant. Mike made me start as a busboy. I was eager to work at a job where could pay my rent and get to bed reasonably early, so there I was, the 26 year old guy cleaning your table. I didn't realize it then (and probably wasn't thrilled to be busing tables), but it was his methodology that made him successful. I'm sure he figured I could wait tables and I eventually slipped into bar tending, but if I was going to work there the next couple of years while finishing up school, I was going to earn it, just like everyone else. I didn't have any recent experience to draw from at that point, so I learned how 'they did things'. I'm going to continue talking about some of the other lessons over the next couple of weeks, but I always find it funny that I'd really never had a single mentor until I went BACK to college and my job that was supposed to just, 'get me by' is the one I have some of the strongest memories of and often reference in my business life today.