Career Lab Spotlight: Matthew Weiner
Arc Worldwide’s Chief Creative Officer, Matthew Weiner, is a champion for employees’ career growth, particularly through mentorship. To further develop himself and his teams, Matthew has taken several Career Labs courses. Read on to learn about his experience.
How did you first get acquainted with Career Lab? How have you found the experience so far?
In my experience, Publicis Groupe is so people-centric and offers many opportunities for us to learn and grow. From day one, it's made clear that we have tons of avenues for enrichment – from tuition assistance to external training, plus the internal tools that we have like Career Lab that offers a library of courses.
I took one course and was hooked because the quality of it is so good and it's free. I'm investing in myself and in turn the people around me because it's made me so much better as a professional and as a person.
Something else I think is super cool about the Career Lab offering is that no matter what team you work on or what your capability is, courses are open to everyone. You can learn about topics that may not specifically apply to your day-to-day; although it's incredible how often you find that it does have something to do with your workflow, or it might open your eyes to a different opportunity that you didn't know existed. There's a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips that I find extremely useful.
What are the highlights of your time in Career Lab courses?
This may sound bizarre coming from a creative, but “Improving Profitability” was my favorite course that I took through Career Lab. This is when we used to be in the office, and we all got together and sat near each other and the whole thing was presented as this board game. Throughout the day, the faux agency that you were running was doing better or worse and was more profitable or less profitable based on these decisions that you made. It was competitive and fun and to this day, when I'm thinking about the business of the business, I see the game board as I make decisions.
I also just finished up something called Le Grand Studio, which was for leaders across the Groupe. I got to work with people around the world on personal, team and agency growth. It was incredible – the content itself was great, and they brought in guest speakers and instructors. Also, the programmatic and gamified format got me hooked. You wanted to make sure you were earning your checkmarks as you worked through the schedule. You didn't want to miss a beat.
How do you establish trust and intentionality in a mentor-mentee relationship?
I care. I take an actual interest and come prepared not only to answer questions but give mentees new questions to consider. I'm giving them guidance through conversation that they may not have sought specifically but can actually use.
Also, if you can work on mentees’ behalf, that helps to build trust because then they start to hear that you did talk to someone about them, or you put them in touch with somebody else, or you turn them onto a training that you found useful or a content series that they would find interesting. Having actual things to show them – not just having conversations but offering actual outputs – helps to build trust.
Mentorship is frequently collaborative beyond a one-on-one. How do you set up a team for career development and success?
Mentoring teams is interesting because everybody is so different so it's hard to get into the nitty-gritty of what an individual might need, but there's certainly a lot that you can work on just in terms of team dynamics – how to help support each other, first and foremost, and things that are just universally recognized as helpful and needed. That’s mostly done not through formal mentoring sessions, but through the day-to-day and how you show up for people, the example that you're setting in the way that you're treating others and proactively seeking coachable moments.
I’m a huge, huge, huge believer in real-time feedback, both to show someone where they did something great, so that they know to keep going, but also when there's constructive criticism. I like to follow up immediately after a meeting or presentation. Those moments don't necessarily feel like formal mentorship, but you tend to take away so much more in real time than you would solely from a monthly meeting without immediate context.