Hello SOTGC community,
I have been recently faced with some challenges in my personal life but also in my work life (I applaud people who can separate the two.). I have found myself just running in a circle in hopes of finding an answer. I am trying to better understand what my personal goals are and how I can close the gap between what I do and who I want to become. I was so close to this issue that I felt like my vision was clouded. I know that our millennial generation tends to be independent and wants to figure things out on their own; however, I know I needed a new perspective.
Instead of calling on my parents, I looked a bit further. I reached out to somebody that I admired for how she carried herself. Imagine a woman in her late 40s with a firm walk wearing red, reading glasses. She is fierce, confident, and above all she is a high-accomplished director of a global pharmaceutical company where she recently resigned.
I asked her for a lunch opportunity to discuss a few things with her. Without her even being aware, I was looking to her for advice and maybe even mentoring. I think the word “mentor” has gotten a bit of a bad rep because in some organizations it’s a mandatory element for personal development and some pairings have not been exactly chosen by the mentee. But deep down the thought behind a mentoring program has not changed. A mentor can be very helpful in situations where someone has more experience in life or maybe in a given subject matter to help you navigate the waters of a corporation for example.
In my example, I was looking for someone that is more removed from my current industry so that I can get candid and unbiased feedback. She didn’t have any stake in what she would recommend to me, but what it allowed me is to see past my own ignorance and see the bigger picture.
I think the millennial generation is used to doing things differently and chartering new waters, though I think deep down we still could use hearing a perspective from others. We often think that seeking advice from others can be seen as a weakness, but instead, I think it is a sign of maturity and mental awareness. Mentoring does not need to be formal, nor does it even have to be a question. Instead make it a statement because when you find the right person, you won’t even have to ask them to be your mentor, as they automatically will act like one to you. Think of a mentor as somebody you admire, respect or simply look up to.
A mentor can be older or younger than you. They can be within your business or outside, and they can be the absolute opposite of you. If you know you are in it to learn, you will see that people that are different from you can be the ones you learn the most from. Remember that when we get outside of our comfort zone, and practice those muscles, then we truly grow and expand our awareness.
I have found my mentor in a moment of need, but don’t wait until you need one, instead actively seek for one. Meet them for coffee or lunch and share what’s on your mind. They just might surprise you with what they have to say. I hope I have inspired you to find a mentor or maybe you are already one to somebody you don’t even know yet. Let us know who you chose as a mentor.