Mentorship at Work: Growing with YourCause

Miki Naik September 1, 2016 About YourCause

When people talk about culture, they always discuss the social events, office style, ping pong tables, potlucks, and the youthful and friendly environment. But it’s critical in a good company culture to have something that encourages employees to flourish in their careers.

My Ideal Job Requirements

When I joined YourCause a little over two years ago as a Front End Developer, I was a fresh graduate with very clear ideas of what I wanted my first job to be like:

  1. It should align with my technical interests.
  2. I wanted to learn, learn, and learn more (positively thinking I am the only factor in making that happen. Be proactive, Miki!)
  3. I wanted to make meaningful and valuable contributions to the product and thus the company.

I chose this company because I believed that little YourCause (being a startup) would fulfill these items for me.

Mentorship at the Office

Miki Headshot outside of YourCause officeI realized very early that, just like in life, you are who you hang with. In a professional setting, it’s your peers who mobilize your growth, and I am really lucky to have found amazing mentors in my peers at my work. So what exactly have I learned from them?

  • It is okay to fall, as long as I fall forward. There is immense pressure when working with extremely talented professionals as a newbie. But they taught me that no question is a dumb question, and that alone took the intimidation factor out of my life.
  • They taught me creative thinking. I don’t always need to come up with an innovative solution to a problem, because most of the time, it is bringing together a number of already implemented solutions constructively to solve a problem. Seeing this method in the work of my peers has inspired me, and has since transpired into my work.
  • I had a path to follow since they set it by example. I learned to verbalize my ideas and to take them from conception to a clean implementation. They served as my mentors, but always treated me as a peer. My relationship with them is one of trust, partnership, and of an exchange of our subject knowledge.

My success at YourCause is definitely a function of my hard work and my peers’ sincere support and mentorship that I will be forever grateful of.

Where I am Today

So here I am: a lot more confident, a tad bit smarter, and a lot happier with myself. I now work at YourCause as an Application Developer, writing new features and working with newer technologies. Little YourCause and I are both growing together hand in hand.

Now going back to my three expectations I had from my first real world job, I can see that I am perfectly at home:

  1. I am writing beautiful lines of code every day in our application.
  2. I have a tremendous learning curve with all the new things happening at YourCause professionally, technically, and by personally being surrounded by such amazing and talented people.
  3. As far as meaningful contributions go, I want to tell you a little story. With the launch of our new and exciting platform (we call it v2); developers don’t always enjoy fixing bugs on our old platform because everyone wants to write features for V2. However, I realized the value of this work when one of our Account Managers mentioned how a little bug I had fixed meant so much to her and her clients because of the amount of dollars in donations that it translated to. I left that meeting with the feeling of a Do-Gooder.

YourCause is a wonderful company with amazing people who have come together for the beautiful purpose of doing good in the world. So, whether it be an amazing new feature or an old bug that needs to be fixed, every effort made here is priceless.