I have been with Mittera Group for almost 10 years.  During that time, I’ve worked at four of our printing plants in two states and have had seven different titles.  I have an interesting collection of my business cards to prove it!  When we talk about how there are opportunities for growth at Mittera, my path through the companies proves just that.  Whether it be personal or business growth, it does not come without hard work, putting yourself out there, and taking risks.

Prior to joining Mittera Group at our Rock Communications plant, I was in sales at a small advertising agency.  Though the company and people were great and I was doing fine at the job, I eventually realized I did not see myself doing that for a long-term career.  However, I wasn’t sure yet what I wanted for my career.  Spurred on by the market going south, in early 2008 I decided to take a risk, step out of sales, and take a different job with the comfort of it being working on my life-long love of crunching numbers while I figured it out.  In March of 2008, I was hired at Rock Communications as their accounts receivable clerk.

From my first position, I tried to work as hard and smart as I could.  Early on in my new role, I would ask questions about my tasks, not just “how” but also “why” so I truly understood the tasks at hand, both how to do them and why it was important.  I’ve kept this up in every position I have had with Mittera Group; in accounting, customer service, sales, production, and management; which has helped me to learn faster and therefore excel quicker than I may have had I been timid.  Once I learned something well, but even before I had mastered it, I put myself out there and asked for more responsibility.  The funny thing about asking for more responsibility is you often get what you ask for!  I was given responsibilities because I asked, and then was asked to take more on because I had proved that I could.

Asking for more responsibility eventually led to being on special projects and teams, working on more critical and difficult tasks in my departments, and cross-training opportunities.  This allowed me to gain more valuable experience, build my group of peers, and grow my mentors and resources available to me.  Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was working toward and preparing myself to have the resources I would need when growth came along.  And it did.  And I was ready.

As the General Manager of our Wisconsin plant, J.B. Kenehan, I am still trying to work harder and smarter, and soon I will put myself out there again and ask for more, and if I’m lucky, down the road, I will have another risk worth taking.  But in the meantime, I am more than happy to help and be a resource to others willing to do the same.

-Karen Handeland | MITTERA

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