Hello IT Pack Members! I want to know if you have a formal mentor in your professional relationship? If so, how has that relationship helped your career and your ability to grow professionally?
Early in my career I was fortunate to have been in a professional development program where a mentor was assigned. The feedback was invaluable but more-so was the experience of engaging with a mentor. After that, I sought mentorship opportunities - both formal and informal. Every relationship with a successful leader, every opportunity to receive feedback (even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear) was a 'mentoring moment'. The dividends of those moments compound over time. Listening is a critical skill and leaning is a constant. The body has two ears an one mouth, use them proportionally.
I was fortunate to meet amazing people in my career. Many of them offered wisdom and shared their experiences to enrich my career. I can't thank them enough.
I worked at a company and got to know our senior marketing exec. I had significant interest in marketing and she was great at innovative use of technology in marketing. Technology was my strength. Her ability to connect with people of all ages and relate with common experiences was amazing. Not only was she great at showing strength, she was great at admitting vulnerabilities and seeking help from all levels of hierarchy to achieve common goals. As we both progressed in our careers away from the company, we stayed in touch and she offered her mentorship. That professional relation pointed me to my current job. We stay in touch and I've learned a great deal from her services in public and private sector.
Honest, direct feedback from my mentor helped me the most. Mentor-mentee relation was a sounding board of ideas, shared vision and understanding each other on polar-opposite vision. Like Randy mentioned, it was important for me to clearly hear difficult messages. My mentor was able to relay them with ease. I found that weaknesses were turning into opportunities. Importantly, I got to understand the value of building long-term, meaningful professional relationships. I feel that the mentor-mentee relationship's true value will be generated when we both pass on the wisdom to the next generation leaders.
Great feedback from Randy and Chirag! I know there are others in the Pack with similar experiences. There is an old parable about a turtle sitting atop a fencepost. It is a surprising sight to see until you come to the realization that the turtle didn’t get there by itself.
If you have a good story about how someone has helped you along the way in your career, please share it with us.
I have had the good fortune of having some amazing mentors all through my career as well. Mentors that I thought were effective were good listeners, non-judgmental and took the time to understand my strengths and weaknesses. While some of them were in my reporting structure, others were from other organizations and outside the company.
I always thought that I had to get rid of my weaknesses to be successful but one of my mentors had a view which I agreed to and strongly believe in since I have had that conversation with her. Her explanation was that we all come with our strengths and weaknesses. It is how effective we are in leveraging our strengths to the maximum potential while minimizing the impact of the weaknesses that makes a difference.
Also, as a team you are really successful when you leverage the the collective strengths that the team members come with.
I have had a mentor for about two years now. To engage, I reached out and we had an initial meeting. From there, we determined some ground rules and hav been successfully meeting monthly since. I’ve found it to be beneficial both professionally and personally.