I have been mentoring for Crossing Thresholds for three years. This has been an amazing opportunity for me. I have met colleagues from other departments who I have learned as much from as I hope they have learned from me.
I have found being a mentor inspiring. I have worked with three women who have moved forward into promotion, one making the decision to move to another department. Another colleague decided that a sideways move was for her and I was able to support her by setting up some shadowing in the area she wanted to move into.
When taking up mentoring I was at first quite scared – wondering if I would gel with the mentee. Now with the confidence that being a mentor has given me, I realise that sometime it does not work, but that’s ok. The majority of times it’s a great privilege to be a mentor.
What I have found most useful on a personal basis is the feedback I have received from the mentees. We have planned sessions and worked together, and this has helped us both learn. I have found planning the sessions in advance works really well and enables us both to focus. I have also found great benefit from impromptu sessions when mentees have been applying for jobs or going for interviews.
For colleagues looking to be mentors, I would say embrace the opportunity, plan and set boundaries. It’s ok to say I can’t do this right now!