During my career, I’ve sought out mentors for all kinds of help with writing, presentation skills, career development and all those work ups and downs. I find great value in the counsel of wiser and more experienced people. And I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their valuable coaching and caring.
Here in Durham, our local chapter of OWL – Oracle Women’s Leadership program – has taken mentorship to a whole new level. Instead of hoping you’ll be lucky enough to find a mentor that will be willing to guide you, they’ve developed a formal process that allows OWL members to sign up for mentorship (as a mentor or mentee). Then they pair people up based on their experience and positions.
The Durham Mentorship Program, now in its second year, is growing with 33 mentor/mentee pairs. Participants kicked off the year-long program with an event where we met our matches and received advice from a mentor/mentee pair on how to make the partnership a success, which included meeting on a regular basis and simply listening to each other.
Not only do I have a mentor within the program, but I also thought it was a great time in my career to return the favor by taking on a mentee. And I’ve learned so much experiencing mentorship from both sides.
As a mentee, I’m benefitting from someone who can listen and offer unbiased advice and guidance. He’s helped me develop some career goals, and now I feel like I have a new vision for the future.
As a mentor, I’ve already helped coach someone through a specific situation. And it was really rewarding to hear her say that I made her feel much better after one of our meetings.
We can all benefit from a coach or mentor through the many stages of our lives. And as I’ve come to learn in my career, our success depends on it.