Three Things I am Grateful For in Business – By Dana Kuykendall

As I reflect on my career, there are many things that I am grateful for. I have formed relationships that have made a significant impact on my life in so many ways. From developing lifelong friendships, to working with mentors that helped guide me over the years, and most importantly having the ability to help others grow in their career.

So many memories rush through my head as I think about these relationships. When you realize how much of your day is spent with those you work with, these relationships play such an important part of your day-to-day life. Your team becomes a family away from home.

Here are the three things that I am grateful for in business:

The Relationships I’ve Built: Earlier this week, my daughter asked me, “Mommy, how do you know so many people at work that can do different things?” It made me smile because I realized how blessed I am to have relationships with people with people at my office that I can turn to. Most of us, especially in customer service, have a desire to connect with others on a daily basis. I have met so many wonderful people in the span of my career, many of whom I kept in touch with even years after my employment with them. It is one thing to have a relationship with the people you work with, but the best part is the customers that I have connected with. Whether it was moments in their lives or mine that brought us together, there is something so special about cultivating relationships with complete strangers that turn into friendships. One particular customer who is very special to me and led me to my current role is Sandra, our EVP of finance. As our friendship grew, it led me here to SGEi. I am so grateful for that friendship and all the other relationships I have built over the years.

Mentors Who Have Guided Me: It is my hope that everyone has the opportunity to work with individuals in their career who become mentors and help guide and develop their individual strengths and weaknesses. I have been fortunate to have great mentors in my life, which has played a key role in my success. It was my first mentor who saw my leadership strengths that I did not see myself. She offered me a promotion, and my career in management began. I’ve shared this before, but being a new manager was not easy, nor was I great at it from the start. However, with guidance, advice, and encouragement, I found success in my leadership abilities that blossomed because of my manager and mentor. I have had other mentors throughout my career, and I am so very grateful for all of them who have guided me and set me up for success over the years.

Helping Others: It is a heartwarming experience to be given the opportunity to help others. Anytime I can be there for someone on my team, whether it is a personal issue that arises or something they are struggling within the office, I truly am honored to be there for them. It’s more to me than just being there for someone—it’s about being able to teach, coach, and help them find the answers or offer advice. Having made my own mistakes and seen others make mistakes as well, it’s a good feeling when you can offer that advice after having been there and done that. I have been called “mama bear,” which brings a smile to face because I truly care about the people I work with, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help others.

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