Here’s why investing in strong friendships at work is important
The very first day I met my Jill Ekonian at work, I knew I had just met a great future colleague. What I didn’t realize was that I was meeting my best friend, mentor and one of my greatest supporters.
In early 2010, I was working in Human Resources for a fortune 500 company. I had put the work needed for the job, I knew that I had all the skills necessary and yet my confidence was not readily flowing. Fortunately, I had found a friend, Jill, in this space that was always there to encourage me.
Jill exemplified working hard and being honest. Her grounded, yet effective way of client management taught me that to being a winner in this field isn’t about knowing everything, but about being your most honest self. The first six months on the job, I called Jill at least twice per day to verify, confirm, and be my life line to all my compliance and legal questions. My nerves and self-doubt would not allow me to follow the experience and knowledge I had acquired over the previous 10 years. Every time I called, she patiently assured me, “Jenny you always have the answer, you just need to trust yourself.”
She spent several hours each week talking through various disciplines with me, until I no longer needed to call on her in the middle of her work day. She supported me professionally but also personally. We enjoyed sharing with each other the joys and struggles of being working mothers, working hard to set a good example for our children.
Jill has been a rock for me as a mentor and friend for over 10 years. The value of her time and care for me as a person, cannot be measured. But she has also been an important reminder that friendships happen in the most unexpected places. This friendship helped me to tap into the strengths I already have and trust in my ability.
Like Jill, I work hard to be a mentor and friend to the young ladies around me. I hope I can offer the same type of mentorship to the many young women junior to me and watch them flourish in confidence and independence in their personal and professional lives.
Remember, the place where you choose to making a living every day and effect change in the world, should also be a space of personal and professional nourishment. This is the environment we strive to create here at Global G.L.O.W. and I am really proud to be a part of it.