Well considering I am more than happy to chat via email and Facebook and use text rather than phone anyone this is my first blog! Seems a bit odd to put down my thoughts and feelings in this way, as I have never been a diary type person so this may all end up being random ramblings but here we go.
Mentorship and me – a conversation with my current Director lead to the suggestion that a mentor would be a great idea, the whole team were getting them, so I should think about it too. This provided me with the ideal opportunity to rekindle a relationship I really enjoyed and appreciated with an old line manager. We have all had those managers that get you in for your annual appraisal tell you that you are doing a fab job and then dish down the work they don’t want to do from their own objectives. Well, my appraisal with this person certainly wasn’t anything like that; it was an insightful conversation about my strengths, weaknesses and character. I do have some self awareness but this person set it into context around why I act in the way I did whereas no other manager had ever taken the time or trouble to invest in that way with me. Sadly our professional relationship was over too quickly for me to truly benefit from her support – until I recently thought “who better to have as a mentor?”
Our first discussion picked up straight away with insightful challenges around my career path to date – which had been a theme of accidently stumbling upon opportunities- and how I had no real plans for the future, professionally. She made me more aware, and asked me to consider how, I always worked within my comfort zone and never put myself under any pressure to do something different. Also, we discussed how I stayed in positions far too long instead of actively going out to develop myself for the next post. She also pushed me to consider what the ideal job would be and my immediate response was teaching, however on reflection I am not sure it is! I have now thought in more depth about my short-term goals and this doesn’t feature highly in them, so I definitely need to reflect on this more; something I am not good at but hope this mentoring relationship will help me get better at.
I am looking forward to “Round 2” with my mentor. She sets me “homework” and I’m very aware that this process puts me at the centre of this development process and that its my effort which will generate progress, but I’m keen to see how else she can probe my mind and set me challenges going forward.