I have always been a strong believer in mentoring – I know I would have never have achieved what I have without the help of more experienced individuals along the way. I am also a great believer in ‘paying it forward’ so when I saw Crossing Thresholds advertised I was really keen to be part of it. Women often need that extra push to believe in themselves and build the self-confidence to go after their goals.
I have mentored a number of women on the programme and I find it incredibly rewarding to watch them grow between meetings, and also to see their ‘lightbulb moments’. I value the relationships as they help me understand the challenges that a lot of junior staff are facing and I can always take away new learning from my mentoring sessions.
Tips for Mentees:
- Commit and trust in the process. Select your mentors wisely and if it’s not working out then that’s ok – that isn’t a bad thing and it’s a sign of maturity to recognise it. Your mentor will appreciate your honesty.
- Be clear on what you want from the relationship – don’t be afraid to approach someone from another government department.
Tips for Mentors:
- Don’t overcommit. During a particularly busy time at work I kept cancelling meetings with one mentee until she decided that she wanted to change mentors. I now really consider whether my commitments will allow me to support any more mentees when a request comes through.
I cannot recommend it enough. It’s so rewarding and you are helping grow the next generation of leaders – it’s a great opportunity to show how important mentoring is to success and ensure that the those you mentor go on to ‘pay it forward’ themselves in the future.