A little over a year has gone by since I made a career change. I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue my career goals of account management and sales and to work with a company who shared similar values. My education and past positions revolved around the horse industry. I was delivering and nurturing foals to allow them to be fast race horses. I was preparing equine athletes for surgery at all hours of the day. In my previous roles, I needed to know what I was doing and the clients needed to trust me.

I learned that this was a similar case to my new role in the print industry. I needed to fast track my learning curve and know as much as I could about print so that our customers could feel confident working with me; I could build credibility, and provide our customers ideas and solutions. Having no sales experience or exposure to the Graphic Art industry, other than summer jobs at Grit Printing, the first few months in my new position I focused on gaining insight into the industry and learning what Grit Printing is truly about.

One day I was told to check out this mentor/mentee program through the Girls Who Print organization….

I am so glad I did. Being introduced to this GWP organization and my mentor, has been one of the best things that could have happened to my career. Here is a little sneak peak into why having a mentor is the greatest:

1. Confidence: As a young professional in the Graphic Arts community, support, education, and patience is valuable to me. She knows that I have a lot to learn but over time with guidance I can become a valuable asset. Her belief in me and providing the tools and knowledge to be successful gives me the confidence to excel and to take on the challenges ahead.

2. Growth: She encourages me to get out of my comfort zone as she knows she can tap into my true potential. She opens the doors to opportunities like writing a blog and being active in the GWP community. Her exercises focus on building my personal brand so that I can continue to get exposure, network, and open doors. I knew when I made a career change, I didn’t just want to be categorized in the industry as my title but I want to offer the company, Grit Printing, and the Graphics Arts community more as a young female.

3. Idea Generator: offers so much knowledge and experience. She is a valuable resource. She knows what ideas work and is not afraid to throw out ideas to experiment with. Having a mentor like this helps me to continue to learn how to communicate, connect, and generate solutions. Her ideas and thoughts help me create and present opportunities within our company as well.

4. Friendship: you know those work friends that are there during the good and the bad times? Although I have yet to meet my mentor in person, I believe she is there for me to motivate and keep me on track of my goals. She is an ally who I can call if I ever need a pick-me up or to celebrate career victories.

5. Determination: my mentor is not afraid to give me a dose of reality but it comes with a side of positivity so I never leave a conversation feeling defeated. If you haven’t accepted constructive criticism yet, you are only hurting yourself. With that said, her feedback gives me the determination to overcome fears, push myself, and to pursue my goals.

If you made it to the end of this blog, thank you for your time! Or if this is the only thing you have managed to read, go sign up for the mentor/mentee program here: https://womensprintmentoring.com

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