Mentoring the Managing Director
Yasen’s GTP adventure isn’t over yet. But despite more “sprint” sessions on the horizon, he’s had plenty of chances to develop a mentorship style for a range of team mates—even the Managing Director of Zühlke Bulgaria, who suggested he be her mentor.
Thankfully, Zühlke’s culture of open feedback made him feel comfortable in taking up her offer.
“When I joined Zühlke, I was nervous to join an international team. I grew up in a small place, so I hadn’t traveled much or experienced many different cultures. Plus, I had all the typical insecurities you feel when starting a new job.
“But the open feedback culture at Zühlke—in both the GTP and general workplace—has been so enriching.
“It’s like having many mirrors, each of which help both you and your colleagues see a different part of who you are.
“That culture extends to more senior leadership, too. As one of the earliest Sofia office recruits, Diana Elenkova [Managing Director, Zühlke Bulgaria] would regularly ask me for input on what life was like there. That was a real catalyst for me in that it helped me believe in myself! I lacked the “curse of knowledge” at the time—my outside perspective was really valuable in providing a fresh view of the daily experience.”
And while their mentoring roles have since reversed, Yasen has grown comfortable helping his own mentees grow to their full potential. As well as being a Career Coach for one, he has regular meetings with two more junior engineers, plus two interns.
“I enjoy taking a compassionate stance to help my junior colleagues in their own growth journeys. And when the interns first started, I took a more proactive stance to help them get settled. That stance has evolved to become a more reactive one. I try to help them when they reach out.”
“I’ve found that being honest and proactive can break down a lot of barriers. For instance, I recently admitted to a colleague that ‘I wanted to help them grow but I wasn’t sure how to do it.’
They were hugely receptive to this openness and it made for a much better experience.”
“Ultimately you need to be the change you want to see. I’m so glad that Zühlke has helped me build on that belief.”