In Schibsted we have over 5000 brilliant employees who each have a unique competence and valuable experience. In order to become better, we need to share this knowledge across units and experience levels! One way we do this is through our internal mentor program. We have asked two previous participants, Ida Kristine Norddal, Senior Product Manager, and her mentor Christian Printzell Halvorsen, EVP Nordic Marketplaces, to share their experiences with us.
Christian finds it really rewarding to see other people grow and develop, therefore he did not hesitate to sign up as a mentor when the timing was right.
“I had high hopes, but didn’t know what to expect. I have been part of both good and not so good mentor programs in the past. Luckily this one turned out to be really good! As you grow as a leader, I think it’s important to learn from several others, not just your direct manager. A mentor program like this gives you fresh perspectives and an opportunity to reflect”, Christan says.
Ida, on the other hand, was looking for a senior “sparring partner” that she could have interesting conversations and share knowledge with. She hoped to learn more about both herself and her mentor, with the aim of getting a clearer view and understanding of her continued career development.
The program started with a kick-off meeting with all mentors and mentees, where they got an introduction to mentorship by Charlotta Wikström and the Learning Lab team, Schibsted’s global Learning and Development department. Then it was up to them! Ida and Christian met for a 1-hour meeting approximately every month that Ida (as the mentee) was responsible for setting up and preparing some agenda points.
“In our meetings, we discussed the topics of strategy, leadership, communication, and being able to navigate a complex organization like Schibsted. We’ve also touched upon how to handle stressful work life and very concrete topics like the one-touch email rule.” Ida says.
They both agree that the learnings definitely went both ways. Even though their roles are very different, they found many similarities in how they managed and led their different parts of Schibsted. The different topics they discussed made Christian reflect on his own leadership and what he has learned over the years. He also got to see other leadership challenges in other parts of the organization.
“I found it interesting to reflect on how leadership is contextual, but also how some principles work equally well when leading Nordic Marketplaces with more than 1000 employees as when leading a much smaller team.” says Christian.
One fundamental learning Ida is left with is that the key to new career opportunities is in your own ability to “raise your hand”, and the patience to collect the experiences and results that will help you take the next step.
“Being “forced” to reflect on your own work and development on a continuous basis, and having the opportunity to discuss that and get input from an experienced leader, have both helped in giving me a better understanding of my strengths and what it is that energizes me, as well as a broader, Schibsted perspective to my daily work.” Ida says.
In Schibsted we are always looking for new knowledge and new talents. Right now we have over 170 open positions in 5 countries. Take a look at our career page here.