Mentorship: Signed, sealed, delivered!
Chicas! SO remember I wrote an article about practical ways to find a mentor and how I was truly sucking at it? I genuinely was giving up and because I had sent texts and emails to people who were either going through their own challenges and could not accommodate another nagging human or may not have had an interest at all.
If you missed this article, you can read it here.
I have an update for you and thought I should share some feedback on the experience. It has been bliss.
How I Met Her
You know how with love, we are always told that the love of our lives may potentially be sitting in the friendzone? And that we keep looking for this person in the distance? This was it. She had just joined the company I work for and I need to be honest with myself and you as a reader; I suck at making new friends. I hardly spoke to her. Found her odd. Too chirpy for my liking. Always in high spirits. I stayed away from her purely because I have trust issues with letting a stranger into my world. But okay, I soon got over that.
She has a special gift. She can pick up how people feel at the most appropriate times. She set up a coffee in my diary and we took a stroll to Tasha’s in Rosebank. She asked me about myself, my goals, fears, challenges and all thing concerning Kea. It was the first time in a while I had anyone care about me on that level. Where only I mattered in the conversation. I was genuinely going through some challenges at the time, so you can imagine how relieving it was to have that conversation. I shared parts of me that I have never shared with any single human being. That is when I knew she was the one.
I asked her to hold my hand in navigating life and she was more than happy to do it. And from May 2017, Kea had a mentor.
The conversations vary. With every get-together, we touch on family, friends, work, love life. No parameters on our conversations.
Whether I had a tough day at work or had just gone through a break-up, my mentor was there. Conversations I enjoy most are the book recommendations too. I have never been a fan of self-help books, but a book that she recommended I read was “Nice girls don’t get the corner office”. I see that book as a guide to daily living and wanting to improve oneself always. It was a valuable book to read and I certainly used some of the tips in it. Which worked in my favour. We continue to share books worth reading. She has a wealth of knowledge, which I yearn to drink from every day.
I always know what I need to speak to her about. I make my vision and aspirations clear and she helps me achieve those goals with knowledge from her previous experiences.
Outside of having coffee and drinks dates, she has opened up my network. Since knowing her, I have been exposed to networks unimagined. Been introduced to business leaders and associates who have become valuable for my personal growth. I have always been a networker of note – weird given I don’t make friends easily but when it comes to making business connect, trust me to get the job done. I remember attending an event hosted by The Economist in Midrand with her and watching her work the room. I knew at that point that my networking skills were still MILD AF! I needed to up my game and if I stuck with her, they would definitely elevate. When with your mentor, watch how they interact with other people, make the connection and seal the deal.
Making The Changes
So it’s all good and well to have chats, coffee, and talk but what about the “doing” and getting the results? Very important.
There are things I was doing completely wrong and I was definitely getting the results to match it. It all starts with the basic things such as setting boundaries with people and situations, knowing who is really your friend and who is not, taking in criticism and improving on your flaws and wait for it… reading a little bit more than usual.
I can now confidently say that 2017 was one of the best years I had. A year in which I grew in my career, understood the role of heartbreak in becoming a better person and being self-sufficient and reliant in making sure that my dreams are attainable and sustainable. I don’t think I would have achieved everything I did without her help.
Keeping The Fire Burning
I don’t get to see her as often as I used to but we are in contact. The relationship remains a two-way street. In order to make sure the relationship with your mentor is alive, it’s good to check in with them too, to see if they are okay. Where we as mentees think THEY know everything, truth is, they are human too. They too learn a thing or two from us as well.
If you are still looking for a mentor, then maybe the person is in close proximity and you don’t even know it. If you already have a mentor, then always remember you are not confined to only having one person in your corner. You can have more than one mentor, with each helping you navigate particular areas of life.
Maybe we should create links on our Chica social media pages that will allow ladies to connect with each other and possibly build a mentor/mentee relationship?
Have you found a mentor since my last post? How has your experience gone?